An Exploration of Constructivist Teaching Methods

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Introduction Constructivist Learning theory suggests that learning is achieved through the active engagement of the learner through the senses. A learner constructs his or her own knowledge through the application of background knowledge and both new and past experience. Constructivist approaches to learning are aligned with what research suggests are the most effective practices for promoting student learning and engagement; they are learner rather than teacher centered and they promote self directed learning practices among students by engaging them in dialog and problem solving strategies that are relevant to real world experiences. Three examples of constructivist teaching methods include peer teaching and learning, focus on problem solving, and a collaborative learning environment that includes opportunities for group and partner work and discussion. In my research, I’ve found that these teaching methods and strategies not only actively engage students but positively impact student achievement and outcomes. In my exploration of these methods, I will explore constructivist learning theory and its implications for instruction and implementation. I will highlight research to support my assertion that constructivist practices (specifically peer teaching and learning, collaborative learning environments, and a focus on real-world problem solving strategies in a collaborative environment) have a profound and positive impact on student learning outcomes. Constructivist Learning Theory Constructivist Learning Theory is suggests that learning is characterized by the construction of knowledge through the senses. In “An Epistomological Glance at the Constructivist Approach,” Ultanir states that “constructivism is.... ... middle of paper ... ...n, 4(2), 159-166. Merriam, S., Caffarella, R., & Baumgartner, L. (2007). Learning in adulthood: A comprehensive guide (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Singh A, Yager S, Yutakom N, Yager R, Ali M. Constructivist Teaching Practices Used by Five Teacher Leaders for the Iowa Chautauqua Professional Development Program. International Journal Of Environmental And Science Education [serial online]. April 1, 2012;7(2):197-216. Available from: ERIC, Ipswich, MA. Accessed December 22, 2013. Sharma, R. (2011). Designing and Experimenting of English Instructional Material for Facilitating Constructivist Learning. Online Submission, Ultanir, E. (2012). An Epistemological Glance at the Constructivist Approach: Constructivist Learning in Dewey, Piaget, and Montessori. Online Submission, International Journal of Instruction v5 n2 p195-212 Jul 2012. 18 pp.
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