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Constructivism A learning theory for today’s classroom.

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Presentation on theme: "Constructivism A learning theory for today’s classroom."— Presentation transcript:

1 Constructivism A learning theory for today’s classroom

2 What is constructivism? n Constructivism is a theory based on observation and scientific study -- about how people learn. n people construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world, through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences.

3 n Constructivism's central idea is that human learning is constructed, that learners build new knowledge upon the foundation of previous learning. n The second notion is that learning is active rather than passive. Constructed Knowledge

4 In the constructivist classroom, the focus tends to shift from the teacher to the students. The classroom is no longer a place where the teacher ("expert") pours knowledge into passive students, who wait like empty vessels to be filled. In the constructivist model, the students are urged to be actively involved in their own process of learning. The teacher functions more as a facilitator who coaches, mediates, prompts, and helps students develop and assess their understanding, and thereby their learning. One of the teacher's biggest jobs becomes ASKING GOOD QUESTIONS.

5 What is Constructivist teaching? Student tasks: n resemble the real world, are authentic activities. n Deal with a wide range of complex issues. n Planning and decision making are the students’ responsibilities, not the teacher’s.

6 Teaching Style n Facilitates student initiatives rather than scripting student tasks. n Collaborative teams Exposure to other students’ thinking is intellectually challenging. Collaboration develops a social expectation.

7 The Curriculum focus n Thematic and interdisciplinary. n Issues are explored in depth. n Approach is Procedural rather than factual n Project management, organization, presentation and reflection skills.

8 Perceptions n Collegial environment facilitates innovative practices. n Teachers need to work together to support new teaching practices. n Networking with other teachers

9 Scaffolding n According to Lev Vygotsky, students’ problem solving skills fall into three categories: n Skills which the student cannot perform n Skills which the student may be able to perform n Skills that the student can perform with help.

10 Scaffolding n Allows students to perform tasks that would normally be slightly beyond their ability without the assistance and guidance of their teacher.

11 Constuctivism and your Classroom. n Multiple Perspectives and representations of concepts are presented and encouraged n Goals and objectives are derived by the student or in negotiation with the teacher. n Teachers serve in the role of guides, coaches and facilitators.

12 n Activities, opportunities, tools and environments are provided to encourage reflection and self analysis. n The student plays a central role in mediating and controlling learning. n Learning situations are relevant, realistic, authentic and represent the natural complexities of the real world. n Primary sources are used. n Knowledge construction and not reproduction is emphasized.

13 n Problem solving, higher order thinking skills and deep understanding are emphasized. n Exploration is favored in order to encourage students to seek knowledge independently n Learners are provided with the opportunity for the apprenticeship

14 n Collaborative and cooperative learning are favored in order to expose the learner to alternative viewpoints. n Scaffolding is facilitated to help students perform just beyond the limits of their ability. n Assessment is authentic and interwoven with teaching.

15 The Constructivist Classroom V the Traditional Classroom n Curriculum begins with the parts of the whole. n Emphasizes basic skills. n Strict adherence to fixed curriculum is highly valued. n Materials are primarily textbooks and workbooks. n Learning is based on repetition. n Curriculum begins with the parts of the whole. n Curriculum emphasizes big concepts, beginning with the whole and expanding to include the parts. n Pursuit of student questions and interests is valued. n Materials include primary sources.

16 Teachers disseminate information to students; students are recipients of knowledge. Teacher's role is directive, rooted in authority. Assessment is through testing, correct answers. Knowledge is seen as inert. Students work primarily alone. Learning is interactive, building on what the student already knows. Teachers have a dialogue with students, helping students construct their own knowledge. Teacher's role is interactive, rooted in negotiation. Assessment includes student works, observations, and points of view, as well as tests.

17 Process is as important as product Knowledge is seen as dynamic, ever changing with our experiences. Students work primarily in groups.

18 Condition in Which Computers Can Facilitate School Change n Opinion Climate n Information and social support resources n Appropriate educational resources in sufficient quatitities.

19 Opinion Climate n Local school culture affects teacher initiatives n Supportive teacher opinions encourage and allow change to occur.

20 Information and Social Support n Network of like minded people are necessary to accomplish constructivist goals.

21 Appropriate Educational Resources in Sufficient Quantities n Activities require resources. n Materials, Equipment and communications resources are critical.

22 Benefits of Constructivism n Children learn more, and enjoy learning more when they are actively involved, rather than passive listeners. n Education works best when it concentrates on thinking and understanding, rather than on rote memorization. n Constructivism concentrates on learning how to think and understand. n Constructivism gives students ownership of what they learn, since learning is based on students' questions and explorations, and often the students have a hand in designing the assessments as well. n Constructivist assessment engages the students' initiatives and personal investments in their journals, research reports, physical models, and artistic representations.

23 Benefits n Engaging the creative instincts develops students' abilities to express knowledge through a variety of ways. n The students are also more likely to retain and transfer the new knowledge to real life. n Constructivist learning is transferable. n In constructivist classrooms, students create organizing principles that they can take with them to other learning settings.

24 Benefits n By grounding learning activities in an authentic, real-world context, constructivism stimulates and engages students. n Students in constructivist classrooms learn to question things and to apply their natural curiosity to the world. n Constructivism promotes social and communication skills by creating a classroom environment that emphasizes collaboration and exchange of ideas. n Students must therefore exchange ideas and so must learn to "negotiate" with others and to evaluate their contributions in a socially acceptable manner. n This is essential to success in the real world, since they will always be exposed to a variety of experiences in which they will have to cooperate and navigate among the ideas of others.

25 Constructivism and Technology n Access to global information and e-mail communication to anywhere in the world. n Multi media n Collaboration, project based work, and hands on activities. n Facilitates constructivist practices.

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