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Constructivism

Building a better understanding.
by

Justin Hume

on 4 December 2012

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Transcript of Constructivism

Obstacle 1 Obstacle 2 Obstacle 3 Review Start The Birth of Constructivism Weaknesses Examples:
Video games
(Minecraft)
Music Creation
Google Sites
Blogger
Wikis
Many, many more... Constructivism Building a Better Understanding The teacher acts as a facilitator to help the students overcome obstacles and build bridges Key Ideas The difference between traditional teaching
and constructivism It's time consuming for the student and the teacher.
It's hard to assess.
You need learners that have background knowledge.
Very subjective Key theorists:
Dewey
Piaget
Bruner http://www.stephenhicks.org/2009/11/13/john-dewey-on-education-as-socialization/ 1930 You may use existing, basic knowledge to build new, more complicated things... and get new, more complicated knowledge in the process. The mind is a network.  Problem-based learning
 Project-based learning
 Authentic tasks
 Discovery learning
 Case-based learning
 Collaborative learning
 Active learning (responsibility on learners) Vygostky's Zone of Proximal Development Reference List (6th ed.). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.
young children’s learning. Washington, DC: The National Association for
the Education of Young Children.
Reflections on lessons from practice. Educational Studies, 45, 39-58.
learning. The case for guided methods of instruction. American
Psychologist, 59, 14-19. Where do we go from here? Until there is more of a coherent idea of what constructivism is and how it translates into a classroom setting, educators are left to piece the theories together in order to put the theories into practice.
In order to come up with a coherent plan within an educational setting there needs to be not only a descriptive educational theory but it also needs to be “prescriptive” (Gordon 2009).
A prescriptive educational theory would provide concrete guidance and recommendations for a teacher choosing to implement constructivist teaching methods. Students often lack direction (cont.). Educators who implement constructivist teaching methods in their classroom set up the environment in order to enhance student learning through active learning where students are able to learn in a social way. This method, however, can be problematic for certain students with disabilities who are included in the classroom setting.
Research has shown that direct instruction in teaching and improving socially significant behaviors is the key for certain populations that we teach (Batshaw 2007). Students often lack direction. Students are expected to work through problems with little or no guidance from the teacher. Instead of being “taught” new rules and ideas, the learner is allowed to discover these concepts (Mayer 2004). This type of teaching method, once again, has the potential for students to draw unclear or untrue conclusions if the “facilitator” is not available or willing to give direction or feedback. This is a serious limitation of constructivist teaching methods if an educator isn’t willing to guide his/her students in the right direction. Teachers are ill prepared for constructivist teaching (cont.) Along with observation, teachers are to diagnose individual needs and interests. Thus, they need to be organized and excellent at observing their students and taking data in order to keep track of student learning. Without each of these elements in place, within a constructivism framework, this method of teaching has the potential be fragmented and inconsistent. Students will pay the price. Whether there is a coherent and unfragmented idea of constructivist educational practices or not, these ideas of knowledge and learning are still being implemented in classroom settings across the nation. In the wrong hands, this type of teaching can be very disorganized and detrimental for students.
Constructivist teaching practices that could result in these shortcomings include:
Discovery-based learning
Cooperative learning
Group discussions
Projects
Child-initiated activities Where are these ideas coming from? Many of the constructivist underlining principles are based off of ideas from psychological, sociological and philosophical perspectives. According to Gordon, (2009), “Theories developed in psychology, sociology, cultural studies or elsewhere cannot be unproblematically transplanted into the field of education” (p. 41).
So, if this is true, how exactly are we supposed to implement constructivism into the educational setting with the utmost confidence? Too much of a good thing?
While it is true constructivism can have a positive impact in the classroom, its complexity makes it quite difficult for anyone to put the pieces together, to make a coherent idea of what constructivism is and then turn it into practical, successful teaching practices within the classroom.
“Because there are so many versions of constructivism, with important overlaps but also with major differences, it is difficult to see the forest for the trees” (Gordon, 2009, p. 40). Teachers are ill prepared for constructivist teaching. Constructivist teaching methods require teachers to be experts in child development. They must also be experts at observing children, and they need to be able to understand their students’ responses and make changes to the environment when students are not making connections between concepts (Gordon 2009). The Limitations of Constructivism By: Andrea Zenner Students often lack direction (cont.). According to Epstein (2007), “The divisions (between child initiated and adult guided activities) are imprecise. But it is still useful for teachers to consider when and how to support children’s own discovery and construction of knowledge, and when and how to convey content in teacher-guided activities and instruction” (2). Children not only learn in natural and social settings, they also must learn some content through direct instruction. http://www.slideshare.net/nataliea/the-limitations-of-constructivism-2658207 "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEsGHVdVkMw" constructivism. (2011). Retrieved from "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkEJTiodg-Q" The problem at hand cannot be too easy, nor too difficult, otherwise no learning will take place. The weaknesses of Constructivism http://lmrtriads.wikispaces.com/Zone+of+Proximal+Development GAME OVER Or is it? Do you think Constructivism is the best way to learn? Why or why not?
How can you make it easier to assess constructivist activities? You interact first-hand with information to remember, understand, apply, analyze, evaluate and create it.
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