Oct 29 2008

CONSTRUCTIVISM for Dummies

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What the hell is constructivism or constructionism? Why do they make up language which sounds like its out of a 1800′s Journal when it sounds like momentary interests vs. how they learn it. However i think there may be a little more to it, I beleive its trying to understand the phenomenon of the ice berg approach. It is so easy to focus on the different elements that are in front of our faces and much of the time they are very relevant but without going below the surface than we can really never discover the source of behaviour and how students learn. Ackerman (2001) describes constructivism as the way children evolve over time, specifically how they think during there development, what their interested in and how they react on it. Where Giles, Pitre, Womack (2007) describes constructionism as building upon the foundations of constructivism where learners build an idea for themselves not from other peoples views (teachers). Of course they say this in hard to understand terms such as ”actively engaged in building some type of external artifact” (Giles, Pitre, Womack 2007)

 

How does this apply to the use of Technology in classrooms? Well in addition with this constructionism theory, technology supports this learning approach as it provides a tool for discovery learning, letting student learn through there own interests. As Kristie’s blog ”The Net Gen: constructivist learners” suggests today’s students prefer to learn by doing it themselves than being told what to do, therefor this is were technology can be very conducive. Therefore if this is the case, do we just let our students surf wildly through cyber-space or is there a way that we can use discovery learning to get them to teach themselves. I beleive the trigger is the answer, the key point in the topic which will grab their attention. For example, Nutrition lesson = how to loose weight fast or how to put on size, First Aid = people hurting themselves etc

 

REFERENCES – Ackermann, E. (2001), Piaget’s Constructivism, Papert’s Constructionism: What’s the
difference? Retrieved 29th March from:
http://learning.media.mit.edu/content/publications/EA.Piaget%20_%20Papert.pdf

Giles, E., Pitre, S. & Womack, S (2007). Constructionism, Learning by Design and Project-based Learning. In M. Orey (Ed) Emerging Perspectives on Learning, Teaching, and Technology.

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