Constructivism is a learning theory that on the surface appears to be the most sensible way to teach students today in an educational atmosphere that wants our students to question, explore, and develop understanding through the learner’s applying this information to themselves. The real world, school application problem with this learning theory is the reluctance of the teacher to let go of the controls of the class in order to allow this type of learning atmosphere to take place in the classroom.
Constructivism is a theory that basically assumes that learners will construct, or build their own knowledge and understanding of material based on what they already know about a particular subject. The new material must be integrated into their mind and meshed with previous ideas, thoughts, and experiences in order for further learning to take place. While the new information is being assimilated, the learner decides what of the new information should be kept or discarded and the same is done for the old information. Constructivism as a Paradigm for Teaching and Learning states that, “we are active creators of our own knowledge. To do this, we must ask questions, explore, and assess what we know (Thirteenorg, 2015).”
There is a clear social aspect to the learning in this theory. Constructivism suggests that learning is made authentic in social situations where people learn to interact and apply the necessary tools and information to a situation in order to to gain understanding and knowledge (Merriam and Bierema, 2014). With this thought in mind, teachers should seek to make learning opportunities as authentic as possible in this manner, “creating communities of practice where members s...
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...ny of the different chemicals involved in the kits were used for or the effect they would have on other items, this was the starting point for building knowledge.
As we worked through the kit, I knew that there was a set of standards that was being covered and as a teacher where testing was taken very seriously, that was important to me. However, interest in what they could discover each day with the different tests that they would perform fueled the students. Each day would begin with students getting together in there work groups to review their notes they made in their journals the previous day. They would share aloud discoveries, thoughts, and questions with the class. Others would share if they thought they had an answer for another group’s problem. At the conclusion of the class meeting prior to that day’s experiment, we would head to the lab to get to work.
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