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ECS 300 - 2013 Fall Semester Understanding Constructivism: Using it as a Model of Learning to Assist in Teaching Warren Wessel Faculty of Education University.

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Presentation on theme: "ECS 300 - 2013 Fall Semester Understanding Constructivism: Using it as a Model of Learning to Assist in Teaching Warren Wessel Faculty of Education University."— Presentation transcript:

1 ECS Fall Semester Understanding Constructivism: Using it as a Model of Learning to Assist in Teaching Warren Wessel Faculty of Education University of Regina 1

2 What do you use to plan Lessons? n Clearly when you plan a lesson, you intend for your students to learn something! n It’s sort of a given, that you are not planning lessons so that learning does not occur. n What view/model of learning do you consult when planning your lessons? ECS Fall Semester 2

3 Piaget’s Developmental Levels n Sensory-Motor- birth to 2 years n Preoperational – 2 to 7 years n Concrete Operational – 7 to 11 years n Formal-Operational – 11 years and up n The years are approximate – vary with children and what is learned. n The process is not as linear as it seems. ECS Fall Semester 3

4 So What? n The stages are fine – likely you have them nicely memorized – or not! n But what do they look like in children? n How do you use them to plan your lessons? n Which levels are most likely in secondary schools – Grades 9 to 12? ECS Fall Semester 4

5 Sensory- Motor (birth to 2 years) n Direction by stimuli outside the mind n Preverbal stage, no language n Perception and identification of objects What do they learn? n Language – words, syntax, tense n Moving – crawl, walk, climb n Understand some words ECS Fall Semester 5

6 Learning Model Question n Does it appear that babies to toddlers learn by direct reception of knowledge from their parents and others in their world? n Can you tell them directly about language? Why not? What do you think? n Can you tell them to move directly? Why not? What do you think? ECS Fall Semester 6

7 Preoperational (2 to 7 years) n Development of Language n Static thought – no series of operations n Some will be in K to Grade 2/3 What do they learn? n Language n Time – past, present and future. n Letters, numbers - representation ECS Fall Semester 7

8 Learning Model Question n Does it appear that children 2-7 years old learn by direct reception of knowledge from their parents and others in their world? n Can you tell them directly about language? n You can tell them to move in particular ways? Why now? What do you think? ECS Fall Semester 8

9 Concrete Operational (7 to 11 years) n Performance of Operations – such as combining, separating, ordering, substituting, dividing, classifying and measuring. n How do these show up in what you can teach them in your subject area? What can they now do that they couldn’t do before? ECS Fall Semester 9

10 Learning Model Question n Does it appear that children 7-11 years old learn by direct reception of knowledge from their parents and others in their world? n Can you coach them or teach them in different ways than younger children? n How do you think they are learning? Construction or direct reception? ECS Fall Semester 10

11 Formal-Operational (11 years and up) Can now do lots of good stuff! n Hypothetical-deductive reasoning, reflective thinking n Propositional thinking, thinking about thinking n Imagining, Abstract, non-concrete conceptual thinking n Understanding probability n Questioning ethics and morals n Formulating theories So what can students do now in your classes? ECS Fall Semester 11

12 Learning Model Question n Does it appear that people 11 years and older learn by direct reception of knowledge from others in their world? n Can others directly transmit knowledge to our minds? n How do you think they are learning? Construction or reception of transmitted knowledge? ECS Fall Semester 12

13 Constructivism n What do you know about constructivism? n Where can you use it in your teaching? n How do you think others use it in their teaching? ECS Fall Semester 13

14 ECS Fall Semester Introduction n Constructivism is used with so many meanings that understanding the intent of the term is often difficult. n What do you think the term means in education? n Have you heard of constructivist classrooms, constructivist learning, or constructivist teaching? n Are there other kinds of classrooms, learning and teaching? 14

15 ECS Fall Semester Learning as natural phenomenon n Learning is a natural phenomena that occurs in humans. n It has been done naturally by each of us since birth and probably before birth. n The brain does it naturally as the result of evolution developing certain functions. n Normally we do not change the fundamental function of the brain. 15

16 A 4 month old has learned much! ECS Fall Semester 16

17 And learns something new everyday! ECS Fall Semester 17

18 ECS Fall Semester Learning as natural phenomenon n Learning may be viewed as an observable natural phenomenon. We all have thoughts about learning. We all have experience learning. As well we think about how we learn. n What do you do when you want to learn something? You are learning to become a teacher – what do you think you need to know to become a teacher? 18

19 A Theory of Learning n Constructivism can be seen as a theory used by educators to understand learning in people. n Why do you think we want a learning theory? n What possible purpose could it serve? ECS Fall Semester 19

20 ECS Fall Semester Learning and Technology n Are 21 st century learners different than 19 th and 20 th century learners? 20

21 ECS Fall Semester Lecturing - a reinterpretation n University classes and some HS classes are frequently taught by lecturing. n Viewing learning in lectures as reception by transmission is a poor description of the what happens. n We do not learn by direct reception of material transmitted by the instructor. 21

22 ECS Fall Semester Lecturing - once more n Almost no one (in my classes) was able to construct the knowledge during the lecture. The odd one could which the rest of us interpreted as having better receivers/recorders. n We all took notes and then went back to our desks and worked over the material until we understood it. 22

23 ECS Fall Semester Closing Thoughts n Constructivism should be treated as a theory to explain learning in a manner analogous to atomic theory explaining chemical reactions. n Constructivism assists teachers in modeling student learning in their classes. 23

24 ECS Fall Semester More closing ideas n All learning is constructivist. n All teaching is constructivist if student learning occurs. n Not all instructional strategies are equally successful in facilitating knowledge construction. The strategy depends on a wide range of things - learner, topic, prior knowledge, etc. 24


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