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A Constructivist’s Dream
The Ideal Elementary School
By: Andrew Fultz
EDC 531
Purdue University
1
Statements like: “When am I ever going to use this,” and; “I’ll never use
this,” are commonplace in education today by disaffected students. As a classroom
teacher, I have had to have that tough conversation with the young scholar who
does not see a purpose in the state standard learning objective of the day. I have
even been guilty of saying those dreaded words: “you’ll need this on a test.”
However, how do we get students to become true lifelong learners? How do we get
them to take ownership of their learning? How do we keep them engaged? The best
answer is to change our mindset from the idea that students are vessels that we
dump knowledge into, and that they pour back out onto a test paper. Instead, as
educators, we need to change our teaching into a Constructivism mindset that
includes reciprocal teaching, project-based learning, and collaborative learning
opportunities. When properly implemented into the elementary classroom,
constructivist teaching principles will lead to more authentic learning, better
engagement, and increased learning outcomes. Currently, most schools do not
ascribe to one learning theory or another, rather, they take a fragmented approach
that is becoming increasingly ineffective.
For the change to constructivist teaching to occur, we need to first
understand what Constructivism is and what it is not. Constructivism is the theory
in which students actively build understanding and meaning in their minds (Bada
& Olusegum, 2015). Students take in the new learning, check their existing
2
understanding, and make changes to their understanding (Bada & Olusegum,
2015). Specifically, students not only change their thinking, but they also transform
themselves in the process (Gordon, 2008). While constructivism is seen as more
student-centered than teacher-centered, this is a fallacy as the role of the teacher is
more than the repository of knowledge, general of questioning, or learning
facilitator, instead, the teacher is charged with developing appropriate sequencing
of the information and content, creating and maintaining engagement, and act as a
collaborator in learning. Constructivists should follow these three pillars when
planning lessons: students are the main agent in learning; teachers guide, mentor,
and facilitate learning; the classroom must encourage cooperative learning among
students (Bermejo, Ester, and Morales, 2021). With these ideals as the basis of
teaching and planning, a constructivist classroom is set to be successful.
While the ideals of constructivism are good on paper, critics of
constructivism have numerous misconceptions about the learning theory.
Arguments that constructivism encourages students to give off-the-wall ideas or
simply think outside of the box (Arioder, Airoder, Quintana, & Dagamc, 2020), or
is only focused on individual sense-making (Davis & Sumara, 2003) are common
in education. Opponents claim there is no concrete definition for constructivism,
instead, it is often watered down to student-centered learning (Davis & Sumara,
2003). Davis and Sumara (2003) go further to say that most teachers learn about
3
constructivism from sources that are run by former teachers or current teachers in
the field as opposed to researchers. Davis and Sumara (2003) found that most
teachers learn about constructivism from “workshops and in-services, print
resources, and internet searches.” Davis and Sumara (2003) further argue that
constructivism can be watered down to student seating arrangement, ability
clustering, and nonacademic tasks. In addition, Shunk (2020) says that
constructivism is not really a learning theory, rather an explanation of how we
acquire knowledge.
While the argument from Davis and Sumara and others are valid,
constructivism is rooted in research. Famous constructivists include Jean Piaget,
Jerome Bruener, and Lev Vygotsky studied how children acquire knowledge at
various stages of their lives. Piaget theorized that there were four stages of learning
ranging from the sensory-motor stage to the formal operational stage (Shunk,
2020). Formal schooling, Piaget believed, should begin when students begin to
think abstractly (Shunk, 2020). Piaget was a big believer that we need to keep
students engaged in learning that is authentic, and that we need to create cognitive
conflict in which we create and promote disequilibrium in the students thinking
(Shunk, 2020). Bruener promoted the idea that learning needs to be revisited
frequently through the process of spiral review (Shunk, 2020). Bruener encourages
teachers to meet students at their current learning level to allow them to access the
4
desired learning objectives through his three modes of knowledge representation;
enactive or action-based, iconic or visual-based, and symbolic or language-based
(Shunk, 2020). Vygotsky posited the idea of reciprocal teacher where a teacher
interacts with small groups of students, first through modeling, and then the
students taking turns in acting as the teacher (Shunk, 2020). Vygotsky believed that
peer collaboration was essential to student learning (Shunk, 2020). In short,
constructivism says that students are social creatures that need to be stimulated,
challenged, and work collaboratively with peers and the teacher.
With this framework in mind, what would a dream constructivist classroom
look like? First and foremost, an instructor must have a strong understanding of
where the students are currently performing on the topic of instruction (Tuerah,
2019). With an understanding of the current level of student achievement, the
teacher then can create heterogeneous learning groups and arrange these groups
together on the seating chart (Tureah, 2019). Teachers then need to model the
desired learning outcome for the group (Tureah, 2019). Students then have multiple
opportunities to interact with the learning to show their understanding (Tureah,
2019). Students should have the ability to do this both with partners in groups and
individually (Arioder, Airoder, Quintana, & Dagamac 2020). At the end of the
lesson, the teacher should observe and assess student learning (Tureah, 2019). With
this new knowledge, the teacher should adjust instruction and help students achieve
5
mastery (Arioder, Airoder, Quintana, & Dagamac 2020). When teaching in a
constructivist classroom, teachers are constantly promoting disequilibrium in order
to help eliminate misconceptions in learning. This is hard for students and teachers
to accept, but is necessary for growth to occur.
When constructivism is properly implemented in the classroom, student
achievement grows. Students learn more and are actively engaged, “concentrating
on thinking and understanding rather than on rote memorization” (Bada &
Olusegun, 2015). Learning becomes transferable and is shared with their peers
(Bada & Olusegun, 2015). Learning is done through authentic tasks (Bada &
Olseugun, 2015). Constructivism also promotes the learning of social and
communication skills in the classroom (Bada & Olusegun, 2015). These goals are
ones that all teachers should strive for when teaching students.
With the framework described above, we will examine a social studies
lesson designed for second graders based on constructivist theory. Before the actual
instruction begins, the teacher in our classroom will have pre-interviewed their
students to gain an understanding of the students have about jobs that sell goods
and provide services as well as their understanding of how much things cost. For
this lesson, students will be working to show proficiency on the following Indiana
State Standards:
6
2.4.3 Identify community workers who provide goods and services for the rest of
the community and explain how their jobs benefit people in the community.
2.4.4 Explain that price is what people pay when they buy goods or services and
what people receive when they sell goods or services.
2.4.8 Explain why people trade for goods and services and explain how money
makes trade easier.
Here are the results of the preliminary survey of students' understanding.
Room 6 Social Studies Unit 2 Pre-Assessment
Learning Indicator Proficient Approaching Well Below
Name 5 jobs in the
community and
what those people
do.
60% 30% 10%
What is price? 20% N./A. 80%
What makes
something
expensive?
10% 60% 30%
What makes
something cheap?
30% 50% 20%
With this background knowledge, the teacher can design a unit that meets the
desired outcomes. The teacher needs to begin each lesson by engaging students to
capture their attention. In this case, the teacher will begin by having students enter
the class grocery store where they are in charge of shopping for dinner. They have
a grocery list that includes: chicken, potatoes, gravy, and a vegetable. Each of these
7
items is available and has a set price. In groups, students shop the store with their
groups. After the shopping experience, students are told to go back to their groups
and write about their experiences. This extends into math by having students
calculate how much they spent at the grocery store. At the end of the lesson,
students are asked to explain how they can earn the money they needed to shop at
the grocery store. For the next lesson, the teacher will be able to have students
discuss and identify various jobs in the community. From that point, students will
be able to learn about the differences between those who create goods and those
who provide a service.
For this model lesson to be successful, the teacher needs to make sure that
the students are engaged in their learning with each other and the instructor
(Lunenburg, 2011). While opponents of constructivism contend that
constructivism is ill-defined, Lunenburg (2011) argues that students do not process
learning deeply while being passive listeners. Lunenburg (2011) believes that
teachers are active participants in learning by helping students and groups develop
critical thinking skills through modeling and rigorous questioning. While students
are the ones who show the learning, a qualified constructivist teacher needs to be at
the help and alongside to ensure the student reaches mastery.
Noureen, Arshad, and Bashir (2020) speak specifically about constructivism
in the science classroom, their basic principles apply to any classroom and subject.
8
The construction of meaning through active participation and authentic learning
experiences are essential in all classes (Noureen, Arshad, & Bashir, 2020).
Students need to first make use of what they already know about the subject,
including misconceptions, before learning new material (Noureen, Arshad, &
Bashir, 2020). Students have background knowledge in most things that are taught
in all subject areas. Even though they may not understand the process, most first
graders are aware that multiplication exists and is used in the context of mostly
larger numbers. In language arts, students before the ninth grade have likely heard
about the works of Shakspeare and Romeo and Juliet. A constructivist teacher
takes what the students already know about the subject areas, builds in their current
understandings, and help correct misconceptions. Teachers who utilize
constructivist ideas “empower learners to experience new things and enhance their
understanding based on their prior knowledge (Noureen, Arshad, & Bashir, 2020).
While the ideal elementary classroom would be based on constructivist
thinking, most current schools in the United States currently are focused more on
knowledge acquisition through rote memorization and teacher-delivered
instruction. This had led to lower test scores, lower student achievement, and the
lack of retention of learned skills from year to year. In contrast, good constructivist
classrooms need to involve authentic learning tasks where students work
collaboratively or involve in project-based learning (Barger, Perez, Canelas, &
9
Linnenbrink-Garcia, 2018). Constructivist learning classrooms value diversity in
all areas including opinions because learning is constructed by the learner (Plourde
and Alawiye, 2003).
The ideal elementary constructivist classroom is obtainable but may scare
off many teachers. Their concern comes from the additional amount of planning,
and relaxation of classroom roles (Shah, 2019). Teachers are further worried that
they do not have enough content knowledge in each subject area in order to
implement constructivist teaching properly (Shah, 2019). Teachers are also
concerned about the number of options and choices students have in their learning
(Gray, n.d.). With more professional development and experiences with learning
using constructivist theory, these fears can be overcome.
The need to change our current education model to follow constructivist
principles is imperative. For this to happen, teachers must be properly trained and
have experience with constructivist ideas of reciprocal teaching, project-based
learning, proper lesson design, ways to promote collaborative learning, and more
time to appropriately plan for the new way of knowledge acquisition. Despite
challenges, with more schools adopting constructivist teaching, our students will
benefit from more authentic learning opportunities.
10
References
Arioder, L. J. Q., Arioder, V. Q., Quintana, V. V., & Dagamac, N. H. (2020). Application
of Constructivist Teaching Approach in Introducing New Environmental Concepts to
Young Elementary Students in the Philippines: A Small Class Sized Experience from
Slime Moulds Modeling. Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science
Education, 16(2). https://www.ijeses.com
Bada, & Olusegun, S. (2015). Constructivism Learning Theory: A Paradigm for Teaching
and Learning. Journal of Research and Methods in Education, 5(6), 66–70.
Barger, M. M., Perez, T., Canelas, D. A., & Linnenbrink-Garcia, L. (2018).
Constructivism and personal epistemology development in undergraduate chemistry
students. Learning and Individual Differences, 63, 89–101.
Bermejo, V., Ester, P., & Morales, I. (2021). A Constructivist Intervention Program for
the Improvement of Mathematical Performance Based on Empiric Developmental
Results (PEIM). Frontiers in Psychology, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.582805
Davis, B., & Sumara, D. (2003). Why Aren’t They Getting This? Working through the
regressive myths of constructivist pedagogy. Teaching Education, 14(2), 123–140.
https://doi.org/10.1080/1047621032000092922
11
Devine, J., & Gordon, M. (2020). Cultivating Community: Constructivist Online
Learning in a Teacher Leadership Program. International Journal of Social Policy and
Education, 2(2), 1–13.
Gordon, M. (2008). Between Constructivism and Connectedness. Journal of Teacher
Education, 59(4), 322–331. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022487108321379
Grey, A. (n.d.). Constructivist Teaching and Learning. SSTA Research Centre Report
#97-07. Retrieved February 21, 2022, from
https://saskschoolboards.ca/wp-content/uploads/97-07.htm
Lunnenburg, F. C. (2011). Critical Thinking and Constructivism: Techniques for
Improving Student Achievement. National Forum of Teacher Education Journal, 21(3).
Noureen, G., Arshad, T., & Bashir, M. (2020). Effect of Constructivist Teaching
Approach on Student’s Achievement in Science at Elementary Level. Pakistan Social
Sciences Review, 4(3), 904–911.
Plourde, L. A., & Alawiye, O. (2003). Constructivism and elementary preservice science
teacher preparation: knowledge to application. College Student Journal, 37(3).
Shah, R. K. (2019). Effective Constructivism Teaching Learning in the Classroom.
International Journal of Education, 7(4), 1–13.
12
Schunk, D. (2020). Learning Theories: An Educational Perspective (8th ed.). Pearson.
Tuerah, R. M. S. (2019). Constructivism Approach in Science Learning. Advances in
Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, 382.
13
Requirem
ents
Points Explanation Points
Earned/Avai
lable
Exceeds
Standard
Meets
Standard
Needs
Improvement
Unacceptable Points
9-10 7-8 5-6 0-4
Context The student
clearly identifies
their target
audience and
context, and all
language and
terms are
appropriate for
that context
The student
clearly
identifies their
target
audience and
context, and
most language
and terms are
appropriate
for that
context
The student
identifies their
target
audience and
context, but
more detail is
needed, or the
language and
terms are
vague or
general
The student
does not
identify their
target audience
and context, or
the language
and terms used
are
inappropriate
or incorrect
/10
Introducti
on
The introduction
is well-written
and engaging,
and introduces
the reader to the
learning theory
and argument in
an entertaining
or memorable
way
The
introduction is
well-written,
and introduces
the reader to
the learning
theory and
argument in
an acceptable
way
The
introduction is
poorly
written, does
not introduce
the reader to
the learning
theory or
argument in a
comprehensibl
e way, or is
not fully
developed
The
introduction is
missing, does
not set the
reader up to
understand the
learning
theory and
argument, or is
excessively
confusing
/10
14
Argument The argument is
original, timely,
and relevant, it
is intellectually
rigorous while
being
appropriate to
the length of this
paper, and
clearly stated in
a way that flows
with the text
The argument
is original,
timely, or
relevant, it is
intellectually
challenging
while being
appropriate to
the length of
this paper, and
stated in a
way that
generally
flows with the
text
The argument
is interesting,
but may not
be original or
relevant. It
may be
somewhat
superficial, or
it does not
flow well with
the text.
The argument
is missing
entirely, is not
relevant to the
content in this
course, or is
not situated
appropriately
within the
structure of the
paper
/10
Conclusio
n
The conclusion
clearly indicates
why this topic is
important for
the author’s
context,
connects to the
ideas in the
introduction,
and is engaging
and satisfying.
There are no
lingering
questions about
the argument.
The
conclusion
indicates why
this topic is
important for
the author’s
context,
loosely
connects to
the ideas in
the
introduction,
and wraps up
the argument.
There may be
1-2 minor
lingering
questions.
The
conclusion is
poorly
developed,
does not
directly
connect to the
author’s
context, is not
connected to
the
introduction,
or leaves more
than 3
lingering
questions.
The
conclusion is
missing, there
is no context
related to the
author, or does
not adequately
summarize the
arguments and
content in the
paper.
/10
15
Research
and
Conventi
ons
Sources are
from reputable
places, are
correctly cited,
and the
minimum
number of
citations was
included. There
are no spelling
or formatting
errors
Sources are
from
reputable
places, are
cited with 1-2
minor errors,
and the
minimum
number of
citations was
included.
There are a
few minor
spelling or
formatting
errors
Sources may
not be from
reputable
places, there
may be more
than
occasional
errors, or the
student missed
1-2 of the
required
number of
citations.
There are
several
spelling or
formatting
errors that are
occasionally
distracting
Sources are
not reputable,
there were
consistent
errors in
citation, there
was evidence
of plagiarism,
or the student
was missing
more than 3 of
the required
number of
citations.
There are
multiple
distracting
spelling or
formatting
errors
/10
Comment
s
Total /50
16

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A Constructivist's Dream.pdf

  • 1. A Constructivist’s Dream The Ideal Elementary School By: Andrew Fultz EDC 531 Purdue University 1
  • 2. Statements like: “When am I ever going to use this,” and; “I’ll never use this,” are commonplace in education today by disaffected students. As a classroom teacher, I have had to have that tough conversation with the young scholar who does not see a purpose in the state standard learning objective of the day. I have even been guilty of saying those dreaded words: “you’ll need this on a test.” However, how do we get students to become true lifelong learners? How do we get them to take ownership of their learning? How do we keep them engaged? The best answer is to change our mindset from the idea that students are vessels that we dump knowledge into, and that they pour back out onto a test paper. Instead, as educators, we need to change our teaching into a Constructivism mindset that includes reciprocal teaching, project-based learning, and collaborative learning opportunities. When properly implemented into the elementary classroom, constructivist teaching principles will lead to more authentic learning, better engagement, and increased learning outcomes. Currently, most schools do not ascribe to one learning theory or another, rather, they take a fragmented approach that is becoming increasingly ineffective. For the change to constructivist teaching to occur, we need to first understand what Constructivism is and what it is not. Constructivism is the theory in which students actively build understanding and meaning in their minds (Bada & Olusegum, 2015). Students take in the new learning, check their existing 2
  • 3. understanding, and make changes to their understanding (Bada & Olusegum, 2015). Specifically, students not only change their thinking, but they also transform themselves in the process (Gordon, 2008). While constructivism is seen as more student-centered than teacher-centered, this is a fallacy as the role of the teacher is more than the repository of knowledge, general of questioning, or learning facilitator, instead, the teacher is charged with developing appropriate sequencing of the information and content, creating and maintaining engagement, and act as a collaborator in learning. Constructivists should follow these three pillars when planning lessons: students are the main agent in learning; teachers guide, mentor, and facilitate learning; the classroom must encourage cooperative learning among students (Bermejo, Ester, and Morales, 2021). With these ideals as the basis of teaching and planning, a constructivist classroom is set to be successful. While the ideals of constructivism are good on paper, critics of constructivism have numerous misconceptions about the learning theory. Arguments that constructivism encourages students to give off-the-wall ideas or simply think outside of the box (Arioder, Airoder, Quintana, & Dagamc, 2020), or is only focused on individual sense-making (Davis & Sumara, 2003) are common in education. Opponents claim there is no concrete definition for constructivism, instead, it is often watered down to student-centered learning (Davis & Sumara, 2003). Davis and Sumara (2003) go further to say that most teachers learn about 3
  • 4. constructivism from sources that are run by former teachers or current teachers in the field as opposed to researchers. Davis and Sumara (2003) found that most teachers learn about constructivism from “workshops and in-services, print resources, and internet searches.” Davis and Sumara (2003) further argue that constructivism can be watered down to student seating arrangement, ability clustering, and nonacademic tasks. In addition, Shunk (2020) says that constructivism is not really a learning theory, rather an explanation of how we acquire knowledge. While the argument from Davis and Sumara and others are valid, constructivism is rooted in research. Famous constructivists include Jean Piaget, Jerome Bruener, and Lev Vygotsky studied how children acquire knowledge at various stages of their lives. Piaget theorized that there were four stages of learning ranging from the sensory-motor stage to the formal operational stage (Shunk, 2020). Formal schooling, Piaget believed, should begin when students begin to think abstractly (Shunk, 2020). Piaget was a big believer that we need to keep students engaged in learning that is authentic, and that we need to create cognitive conflict in which we create and promote disequilibrium in the students thinking (Shunk, 2020). Bruener promoted the idea that learning needs to be revisited frequently through the process of spiral review (Shunk, 2020). Bruener encourages teachers to meet students at their current learning level to allow them to access the 4
  • 5. desired learning objectives through his three modes of knowledge representation; enactive or action-based, iconic or visual-based, and symbolic or language-based (Shunk, 2020). Vygotsky posited the idea of reciprocal teacher where a teacher interacts with small groups of students, first through modeling, and then the students taking turns in acting as the teacher (Shunk, 2020). Vygotsky believed that peer collaboration was essential to student learning (Shunk, 2020). In short, constructivism says that students are social creatures that need to be stimulated, challenged, and work collaboratively with peers and the teacher. With this framework in mind, what would a dream constructivist classroom look like? First and foremost, an instructor must have a strong understanding of where the students are currently performing on the topic of instruction (Tuerah, 2019). With an understanding of the current level of student achievement, the teacher then can create heterogeneous learning groups and arrange these groups together on the seating chart (Tureah, 2019). Teachers then need to model the desired learning outcome for the group (Tureah, 2019). Students then have multiple opportunities to interact with the learning to show their understanding (Tureah, 2019). Students should have the ability to do this both with partners in groups and individually (Arioder, Airoder, Quintana, & Dagamac 2020). At the end of the lesson, the teacher should observe and assess student learning (Tureah, 2019). With this new knowledge, the teacher should adjust instruction and help students achieve 5
  • 6. mastery (Arioder, Airoder, Quintana, & Dagamac 2020). When teaching in a constructivist classroom, teachers are constantly promoting disequilibrium in order to help eliminate misconceptions in learning. This is hard for students and teachers to accept, but is necessary for growth to occur. When constructivism is properly implemented in the classroom, student achievement grows. Students learn more and are actively engaged, “concentrating on thinking and understanding rather than on rote memorization” (Bada & Olusegun, 2015). Learning becomes transferable and is shared with their peers (Bada & Olusegun, 2015). Learning is done through authentic tasks (Bada & Olseugun, 2015). Constructivism also promotes the learning of social and communication skills in the classroom (Bada & Olusegun, 2015). These goals are ones that all teachers should strive for when teaching students. With the framework described above, we will examine a social studies lesson designed for second graders based on constructivist theory. Before the actual instruction begins, the teacher in our classroom will have pre-interviewed their students to gain an understanding of the students have about jobs that sell goods and provide services as well as their understanding of how much things cost. For this lesson, students will be working to show proficiency on the following Indiana State Standards: 6
  • 7. 2.4.3 Identify community workers who provide goods and services for the rest of the community and explain how their jobs benefit people in the community. 2.4.4 Explain that price is what people pay when they buy goods or services and what people receive when they sell goods or services. 2.4.8 Explain why people trade for goods and services and explain how money makes trade easier. Here are the results of the preliminary survey of students' understanding. Room 6 Social Studies Unit 2 Pre-Assessment Learning Indicator Proficient Approaching Well Below Name 5 jobs in the community and what those people do. 60% 30% 10% What is price? 20% N./A. 80% What makes something expensive? 10% 60% 30% What makes something cheap? 30% 50% 20% With this background knowledge, the teacher can design a unit that meets the desired outcomes. The teacher needs to begin each lesson by engaging students to capture their attention. In this case, the teacher will begin by having students enter the class grocery store where they are in charge of shopping for dinner. They have a grocery list that includes: chicken, potatoes, gravy, and a vegetable. Each of these 7
  • 8. items is available and has a set price. In groups, students shop the store with their groups. After the shopping experience, students are told to go back to their groups and write about their experiences. This extends into math by having students calculate how much they spent at the grocery store. At the end of the lesson, students are asked to explain how they can earn the money they needed to shop at the grocery store. For the next lesson, the teacher will be able to have students discuss and identify various jobs in the community. From that point, students will be able to learn about the differences between those who create goods and those who provide a service. For this model lesson to be successful, the teacher needs to make sure that the students are engaged in their learning with each other and the instructor (Lunenburg, 2011). While opponents of constructivism contend that constructivism is ill-defined, Lunenburg (2011) argues that students do not process learning deeply while being passive listeners. Lunenburg (2011) believes that teachers are active participants in learning by helping students and groups develop critical thinking skills through modeling and rigorous questioning. While students are the ones who show the learning, a qualified constructivist teacher needs to be at the help and alongside to ensure the student reaches mastery. Noureen, Arshad, and Bashir (2020) speak specifically about constructivism in the science classroom, their basic principles apply to any classroom and subject. 8
  • 9. The construction of meaning through active participation and authentic learning experiences are essential in all classes (Noureen, Arshad, & Bashir, 2020). Students need to first make use of what they already know about the subject, including misconceptions, before learning new material (Noureen, Arshad, & Bashir, 2020). Students have background knowledge in most things that are taught in all subject areas. Even though they may not understand the process, most first graders are aware that multiplication exists and is used in the context of mostly larger numbers. In language arts, students before the ninth grade have likely heard about the works of Shakspeare and Romeo and Juliet. A constructivist teacher takes what the students already know about the subject areas, builds in their current understandings, and help correct misconceptions. Teachers who utilize constructivist ideas “empower learners to experience new things and enhance their understanding based on their prior knowledge (Noureen, Arshad, & Bashir, 2020). While the ideal elementary classroom would be based on constructivist thinking, most current schools in the United States currently are focused more on knowledge acquisition through rote memorization and teacher-delivered instruction. This had led to lower test scores, lower student achievement, and the lack of retention of learned skills from year to year. In contrast, good constructivist classrooms need to involve authentic learning tasks where students work collaboratively or involve in project-based learning (Barger, Perez, Canelas, & 9
  • 10. Linnenbrink-Garcia, 2018). Constructivist learning classrooms value diversity in all areas including opinions because learning is constructed by the learner (Plourde and Alawiye, 2003). The ideal elementary constructivist classroom is obtainable but may scare off many teachers. Their concern comes from the additional amount of planning, and relaxation of classroom roles (Shah, 2019). Teachers are further worried that they do not have enough content knowledge in each subject area in order to implement constructivist teaching properly (Shah, 2019). Teachers are also concerned about the number of options and choices students have in their learning (Gray, n.d.). With more professional development and experiences with learning using constructivist theory, these fears can be overcome. The need to change our current education model to follow constructivist principles is imperative. For this to happen, teachers must be properly trained and have experience with constructivist ideas of reciprocal teaching, project-based learning, proper lesson design, ways to promote collaborative learning, and more time to appropriately plan for the new way of knowledge acquisition. Despite challenges, with more schools adopting constructivist teaching, our students will benefit from more authentic learning opportunities. 10
  • 11. References Arioder, L. J. Q., Arioder, V. Q., Quintana, V. V., & Dagamac, N. H. (2020). Application of Constructivist Teaching Approach in Introducing New Environmental Concepts to Young Elementary Students in the Philippines: A Small Class Sized Experience from Slime Moulds Modeling. Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 16(2). https://www.ijeses.com Bada, & Olusegun, S. (2015). Constructivism Learning Theory: A Paradigm for Teaching and Learning. Journal of Research and Methods in Education, 5(6), 66–70. Barger, M. M., Perez, T., Canelas, D. A., & Linnenbrink-Garcia, L. (2018). Constructivism and personal epistemology development in undergraduate chemistry students. Learning and Individual Differences, 63, 89–101. Bermejo, V., Ester, P., & Morales, I. (2021). A Constructivist Intervention Program for the Improvement of Mathematical Performance Based on Empiric Developmental Results (PEIM). Frontiers in Psychology, 11. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.582805 Davis, B., & Sumara, D. (2003). Why Aren’t They Getting This? Working through the regressive myths of constructivist pedagogy. Teaching Education, 14(2), 123–140. https://doi.org/10.1080/1047621032000092922 11
  • 12. Devine, J., & Gordon, M. (2020). Cultivating Community: Constructivist Online Learning in a Teacher Leadership Program. International Journal of Social Policy and Education, 2(2), 1–13. Gordon, M. (2008). Between Constructivism and Connectedness. Journal of Teacher Education, 59(4), 322–331. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022487108321379 Grey, A. (n.d.). Constructivist Teaching and Learning. SSTA Research Centre Report #97-07. Retrieved February 21, 2022, from https://saskschoolboards.ca/wp-content/uploads/97-07.htm Lunnenburg, F. C. (2011). Critical Thinking and Constructivism: Techniques for Improving Student Achievement. National Forum of Teacher Education Journal, 21(3). Noureen, G., Arshad, T., & Bashir, M. (2020). Effect of Constructivist Teaching Approach on Student’s Achievement in Science at Elementary Level. Pakistan Social Sciences Review, 4(3), 904–911. Plourde, L. A., & Alawiye, O. (2003). Constructivism and elementary preservice science teacher preparation: knowledge to application. College Student Journal, 37(3). Shah, R. K. (2019). Effective Constructivism Teaching Learning in the Classroom. International Journal of Education, 7(4), 1–13. 12
  • 13. Schunk, D. (2020). Learning Theories: An Educational Perspective (8th ed.). Pearson. Tuerah, R. M. S. (2019). Constructivism Approach in Science Learning. Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, 382. 13
  • 14. Requirem ents Points Explanation Points Earned/Avai lable Exceeds Standard Meets Standard Needs Improvement Unacceptable Points 9-10 7-8 5-6 0-4 Context The student clearly identifies their target audience and context, and all language and terms are appropriate for that context The student clearly identifies their target audience and context, and most language and terms are appropriate for that context The student identifies their target audience and context, but more detail is needed, or the language and terms are vague or general The student does not identify their target audience and context, or the language and terms used are inappropriate or incorrect /10 Introducti on The introduction is well-written and engaging, and introduces the reader to the learning theory and argument in an entertaining or memorable way The introduction is well-written, and introduces the reader to the learning theory and argument in an acceptable way The introduction is poorly written, does not introduce the reader to the learning theory or argument in a comprehensibl e way, or is not fully developed The introduction is missing, does not set the reader up to understand the learning theory and argument, or is excessively confusing /10 14
  • 15. Argument The argument is original, timely, and relevant, it is intellectually rigorous while being appropriate to the length of this paper, and clearly stated in a way that flows with the text The argument is original, timely, or relevant, it is intellectually challenging while being appropriate to the length of this paper, and stated in a way that generally flows with the text The argument is interesting, but may not be original or relevant. It may be somewhat superficial, or it does not flow well with the text. The argument is missing entirely, is not relevant to the content in this course, or is not situated appropriately within the structure of the paper /10 Conclusio n The conclusion clearly indicates why this topic is important for the author’s context, connects to the ideas in the introduction, and is engaging and satisfying. There are no lingering questions about the argument. The conclusion indicates why this topic is important for the author’s context, loosely connects to the ideas in the introduction, and wraps up the argument. There may be 1-2 minor lingering questions. The conclusion is poorly developed, does not directly connect to the author’s context, is not connected to the introduction, or leaves more than 3 lingering questions. The conclusion is missing, there is no context related to the author, or does not adequately summarize the arguments and content in the paper. /10 15
  • 16. Research and Conventi ons Sources are from reputable places, are correctly cited, and the minimum number of citations was included. There are no spelling or formatting errors Sources are from reputable places, are cited with 1-2 minor errors, and the minimum number of citations was included. There are a few minor spelling or formatting errors Sources may not be from reputable places, there may be more than occasional errors, or the student missed 1-2 of the required number of citations. There are several spelling or formatting errors that are occasionally distracting Sources are not reputable, there were consistent errors in citation, there was evidence of plagiarism, or the student was missing more than 3 of the required number of citations. There are multiple distracting spelling or formatting errors /10 Comment s Total /50 16