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Renee Leduc

on 15 March 2013

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Transcript of Constructivism

Learning Reflected on Experiences Constructivism Theory and Main Ideas Application to the Classroom Experience with Constructivism Tall Tower Challenge Debrief What is Constructivism? Theorist 1: Jerome Bruner "Students should understand the structure of a body of knowledge rather than memorize names, dates, places, rules, formulas… and they should learn how to discover what they need to know.”

The Importance of Structure
Learning occurs when students are allowed to make their own discoveries.
Student’s memory of the content being learned is enhanced when students understand the structure of the field of study.
Important to problem solving

The Importance of Discovery
Students figuring out/discovering answers on their own or in a group, with little teacher assistance
Using background knowledge to come to a solution has more meaning to students.
Students are able to see how ideas connect, solve problems on their own, and how it adds to their pre-existing knowledge.
Working in groups and activity based programs allows for discussion and debate.
Learning results from exploration and discovery.
Learning is a community activity facilitated by shared inquiry.
Learning occurs during the constructivist process.
Learning results from participation in authentic activities.
Outcomes of constructivist activities are unique and varied. “Constructivism” refers to the process by which human beings actively make sense out of the world around them - to “understand” (Wiske, 1998). Theorist 2: David Ausubel "If I had to reduce all of educational psychology to just one principle, I would say this: the most important single factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows. Ascertain this and teach him accordingly."
Believes linking new information to existing knowledge is a requirement for meaningful learning = students need basic concepts to pursue higher levels of learning
Emphasis on the importance of good quality expository teaching
Meaningful reception learning
Value in learning through discovery
The average amount of information that is retained by students
1. Lecture = 5%
2. Reading = 10%
3. Audiovisual = 20%
4. Demonstration = 30%
5. Discussion Group = 50%
6. Practice by doing = 75%
7. Teach others / immediate use of learning = 90% How Does Learning Occur? Problem Based Learning
Student Directed Learning
Reflective Journal Writing
Use raw data and primary sources, along with manipulative's, interactive, and physical materials to engage students.
Use terms such as “classify, analyze, predict, and create” in the descriptions of questions and projects.
Negotiate goals and objectives with students to involve them in the learning process.
Pose problems with emerging relevance to students.
Emphasize hands-on, real world experiences.
Allow students to choose a topic of interest to them within a broad topic being covered in a unit. This will require students to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of a concept and an ability to apply that knowledge to real life situation. Ways to Include Constructivism in your Classroom Project Based Learning The journal-writing process:“...the process of evaluation is as important, if not more important, than the outcomes of evaluation” (Alesandrini, 121) “...students should understand the structure of a body of knowledge rather than memorize names, dates, places, rules, formulas...they should learn how to discover what the need to know” (Biehler, 124) Students Views on Constructivism
“...when students are helped to grasp the structure of a field of study, they are more likely to remember what they learn, comprehend principles that can be applied in a variety of situations, and be prepared for mastering more complex knowledge” (Biehler, 126).

“’...figuring out how to use what you already know in order to go beyond what you already think’” (126). “...understanding the ways in which ideas connect with one another, the possibility of solving problems on our own, and how what we already know is relevant to what we are trying to learn—are the essence of education and can be best achieved through personal discovery” (126).

“To instruct someone in [a] discipline is not a matter of getting him to commit results to mind. Rather, it is to teach him to participate in the process that makes possible the establishment of knowledge. We teach a subject not to produce little living libraries on the subject, but rather to get a student to think mathematically for himself, to consider matters as an historian does, to take part in the process of knowledge-getting. Knowing is a process, not a product” (133). Engineering Teamwork and Planning
You are part of a team of engineers given the challenge of building the tallest tower you can build using only 50 straws, 50 pipe cleaners, and 25 paperclips.
You do not need to use all the materials, but your tower must support the weight of a golf ball for two minutes. The golf ball must be supported near the top of the tower.

Materials for each team: 1 golf ball, 50 plastic straws, 50 pipe clearners, 25 metal paperclips

Planning and Design Phase
Think about the different ways you can bend or change the shape of straws, pipe cleaners, and paper clips Build your tower and test it to see if it can support the golf ball. Then, answer the questions below:
1. How similar was your design to the actual tower you built.
2. If you found you needed to make changes during the construction phase, describe why your team decided to make revisions.
3. Did you use all the parts provided to you? Were any of the parts used only to increase the height of the tower?
4. If you had a chance to do this project again, what would your team have done differently?
5. Do you think that this activity was more rewarding to do as a team, or would you have preferred to work alone on it? Why?
6. If you could have used one additional material (tape, glue, wood sticks, foil – as examples) which would you choose and why? Construction Phase Critiques of Constructivism Does not fit with what we know about cognition and long term memory (Kirschner et al., 2006)
Does not offer a clear or practical approach to instruction (Arasian and Walsh, 1997)
Depth vs. breadth of learning? (Arasian and Walsh, 1997)
Cannot be used as a “one size fits all” approach to teaching (Simpson, 2002)
Challenging to implement (Brooks and Brooks 1999)
Might erode teachers’ control over the classroom (Brooks and Brooks, 1999)
Airasian, P.W. & Walsh, M.E. Constructivist Cautions. Phi Delta Kappan, February,

Alesandrini, K. & Larson, L. (2002). Teachers Bridge to Constructivism. The Clearing House,
January/February, 118-121.

Biehler, R.E., Snowman, J.., D'Amico, M. & Schmid, R. (1999). The nature of meanignful learning. In R.Biehler et al., Psychology appliced to taching (pp.387-403). Toronto: ITP Nelson

Brooks, J.G. & Brooks, M.G. (1999). In Search of Understanding: The Case for Constructivist Classrooms. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

P.A., Sweller, J., & Clark, R.E. (2006). Why Minimal Guidance During Instruction Does Not Work: An analysis of the failure of constructivist, discovery, problem-based, experiential, and inquiry-based teaching. Educational Psychologist, 41(2), 75-86.

Richardson, M. (n.d.). Constructivism in education: An overview of contributions to the literature and to the jpacte annotated bibliography. JPACTE, Retrieved from http://www.jpacte.org/uploads/9/0/0/6/9006355/2007-1-richardson.pdf

Simpson, T.L. (2002). Dare I oppose constructivist theory? The Educational Forum, 66(4),
347-354. What were your responses to the Tall Tower Challenge? Reflection Teachers Bridge to Constructivism Article
Learning results from exploration and discovery
Teachers function as facilitators who coach learners as they create their own paths toward personally meaningful goals.
It is through the self-assessment activities of reflection and verbalization that learners actually realize the meaning of what they have experienced.
Constructivists believe that learning should be based on activities and problems that students may encounter in the “real world".

Assessment within a Constructivist Framework
Teachers realize that their “excellent” work would likely receive a poor or failing grade when held at a different standard.

Tower Building Activity
Considered constructivism because:
Given a specific criteria (that the tower must hold the golf ball).
Each group member brings different background knowledge, therefore creating unique structures.
No “cookie cuter” rubric or outline, each project is different but surrounding the same theme. Works Cited
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