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Constructivism Introduction Meaning Basic ideas Constructivists’ ideas

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1 Constructivism Introduction Meaning Basic ideas Constructivists’ ideas
How children constructs knowledge

2 Introduction Constructivism has a philosophical origin, from Socrates’, John Dewey’s, Pestallozzi’s, Montesori’s and Freire’s ideas. Dewey: Education is a reconstruction and reorganization of experience (Dewey; in Education and Society,1960) . Socrates: the goal of education is to develop the power of thinking and intellectual capacity (Plato’s ‘Apology of Socrates’ in Concise Readings in Philosophy,1981)

3 What is Constructivist Approach?
Elliott et al (2000:256) puts it that it is ‘an approach to learning that holds that people actively construct or make their own knowledge and that reality is determined by the experiences of the learner’. In elaborating constructivists’ ideas Arends (1998:6) puts it that constructivism believes in personal construction of meaning by the learner through experience ……..and that meaning is influenced by the interaction of prior knowledge and new events.

4 Main ideas The learner constructs his own understanding and interpretation of the material. Knowledge is changing as learners confront new challenges that builds and modifies existing knowledge. Learners are actively involved in the process of acquisition and construction of their knowledge. Knowledge is constructed through adaptation to the environment.

5 Knowledge is subjective: every individual has unique experience
Knowledge is subjective: every individual has unique experience. Hence interpretation becomes different because interpretation of information is made in the light of one’s own experience. Therefore not two people can construct the same knowledge Learning is influenced by social interaction through dialogue, challenging situations or exchange of experiences and understanding.

6 Piaget on constructivism:
Children construct their knowledge through exploration and adaptation to their environment. Curiosity motivates their explorations and make meaning about their environments. The growth of ability to construct meaning and interpret events depends on development of language and memory capacity.

7 Lev Vygostky Mental development occurs when children face new and puzzling experiences trying to resolve problems. They link new knowledge with prior knowledge. New ideas enhance the learners’ intellectual development. Society has a profound impact on the construction of knowledge. Society provides the challenges and assistance. *****The society helps individuals to fill the Zone of Proximal Development.

8 *****Zone of proximal development is the difference between actual development and potential development Actual development: individual’s current intellectual functioning. Potential development: increased individual’s intellectual functioning when assisted.

9 Learning through discovery Learning through scaffolding
Bruner Students use their own direct experience and observations to gain information and to solve problems. Learning through discovery Learning through scaffolding Readiness to learn (willingness and mental capability) Teachers are facilitators and question askers.

10 Activities to help children to construct their own meaning
Experiment Observation and manipulating objects and symbols Posing questions and seeking answers Relating events and objects Comparing what one knows with what others know Exchanging views, knowledge and experiences through dialogue and discussion Solve problems

11 Questions for discussion (it is very much important to discuss these question)
If you were to use choose one learning theory to apply in teaching between behavioral learning theory and cognitive learning theory which one would you choose and why? Or If you were to give strengths and weaknesses of Cognitive learning theories in comparing to Behavioral learning theories, what would be your comments (read and discuss the conclusions made to behavioral learning theories)?

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