Foundation of Knowledge
At the beginning of the class, the teacher generally reviewed last class’s knowledge, for the purpose of grounding new knowledge in an already existing knowledge base. The teacher built the new knowledge upon the old knowledge, for the benefit of learning to be meaningful. This is also one of the important aspects of constructivism, which new knowledge is built upon the prior knowledge that serves as the foundation for where the new knowledge is grounded (Inoue, 2012). Through this strategy, learner can connect the new information with their own already existing experiences to get a better understanding.
The teacher in the video dedicates a lot of time in group/class discussion. She put emphasis on value students’ opinion, and let students discuss their ideas with their peers. The traditional constructivism classroom value students’ opinion too, although it emphasizes giving the students chances to practice the skills as the teacher models the correct strategy. This style of teaching did not encourage students to construct a deep understanding of the knowledge. By letting students discuss or even argue their ideas with their peers, and also with the teacher facilitating their discussions, students’ consensus building, also give students the opportunity to think deeply about different ways t...
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...organize by asking “do you have some suggestions how to organize these numbers?”. After she had got the answers from students, again, she said “let’s try it”. The teacher gently seeks for the right answer by lead a whole class discussion, and during the seeking process, value each and every answers she received from her students.
This class inspired me a lot, and gave me an excellent sample about a successful constructivism classroom. We talk about student-centered teaching style all the time, but before we use this strategy in the real teaching context, we need to know the essence of constructivism, which is not a theory of teaching but a theory of learning. As educators, we need to know how to teach, as well as how to learn. It is our job to facilitate students to build a cognitive process to construct meanings by their own during the learning process.
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