Constructivisism in education
There is no absolute knowledge, just our interpretation of it. Bryn Holmes in applied this to student learning as described in an early paper, "in this model , students will not simply pass through a course like water through a sieve but instead leave their own imprint in the learning process. And as students interact with their teacher and with each other as part of either whole class activities, small group activities, or individual activities, they practise using language in a variety of contexts developing and honing many different skills as they do so. Learners must not only have ownership of the learning or problem-solving process, but of the problem itself. What is constructivism? They are able to promote communication and create flexibility so that the needs of all students can be met. Why Is Constructivism Important? Ill-structured learning environments rely on the learner to discover problem solutions. This enables him or her to move, for example, from a transmissional instructional practice to a constructivist and transactional one. Learning environments for adults based on constructivist philosophy include opportunities for students to make meaningful connections between new material and previous experience, through discovery. At the same time that we teach children, they also teach us because they show us how they learn; we just have to carefully watch them and listen to them. A few strategies for cooperative learning include: Reciprocal Questioning: students work together to ask and answer questions Jigsaw Classroom : students become "experts" on one part of a group project and teach it to the others in their group Structured Controversies: Students work together to research a particular controversy  Learning is an active process[ edit ] Social constructivism, strongly influenced by Vygotsky's work, suggests that knowledge is first constructed in a social context and is then appropriated by individuals. Supporters counter that "Students do not reinvent the wheel but, rather, attempt to understand how it turns, how it functions. New ideas and experiences are matched against existing knowledge, and the learner constructs new or adapted rules to make sense of the world. The paradox about student centered instruction is the more control you turn over to the students the less you need to worry about control, and, in fact, the students are quite able to look after themselves and, even more, look after each other.
Other constructivist scholars agree with this and emphasize that individuals make meanings through the interactions with each other and with the environment they live in. Instruction should be designed to facilitate extrapolation and or fill in the gaps going beyond the information given.
One of the simplest ways to do this is asking open-ended questions. Students may also participate in the design of their assignments, although the parameters for these may be established by their teacher. Twomey Fosnot recommends that a constructivist approach be used to create learners who are autonomous, inquisitive thinkers who question, investigate, and reason.
The mind works by interpreting symbols according to rules, and learning is the process of gaining, interpreting, and storing knowledge. Constructivism is basically a theory -- based on observation and scientific study -- about how people learn.
But once these behavioural parameters are established, there can be a lot of choices within. He advises that teachers must be more than technicians but transformative intellectuals engaging in a critical dialogue among themselves.
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