Constructivist Theories in Education
In a way, this book is about itself. One of the dominant trends in Constructivist theory stresses the social and cultural basis of human knowledge. Wikibooks is a prime example of this idea.
- Let us construct our knowledge about knowledge construction...
- Let us educate ourselves on what this entails for education...
- Let us get practical so that teachers can make a conscious effort to use constructionist theory with their kids...
Access to technology is in the schools, let's use constructivism with kids, even little kids to get them thinking and interested in learning for learning's sake. It needs to hit the grass roots and move once and for all out of the theoretical stages. Bridging, scaffolding, whatever you want to call it, children have to be exposed to this therefore educators have to understand the practical application.
- Is it realistic to suggest constructivism for very young children...
- Building on prior knowledge should be easy...
- Access prior knowledge...
- Provide new information...
- Build or construct from there...
How about kids using blogs as well as wikis. Both seem to be naturals for constructivism. It is just up to teachers to figure out how to move from just posting a daily journal or daily assignments to considering the audience and engaging in responding, rethinking, analyzing. It has started at the university level and at the high school level; it is even happening in the classrooms of the younger kids. One thing though, 'defining proper use of blogs and wikis' , seems as if it would serve no purpose. It is important to know how blogs and wikis can be used, but it may not be constructive to define 'how'.
Teachers, you are already using this theory, building from the known. Discussion and community is essential.
Guided Reading and Making Words may be considered constructivist. Below is a section of this page for specific uses and development of constructivist theories. Classroom teachers will need practical applications.
- Piaget and Genetic Epistemiology
- Gergen and Social Constructivism
- The New Century:Classroom Applications of Constructivism
- Contemporary Educational Psychology/Chapter 2: The Learning Process provides a discussion of constructivism as it relates especially to classroom learning.
Guided Reading is by its nature a constructivist application. One moves from where the children are, what their existing knowledge is, into the new learning in the story. And we are already doing it.
Making Words starts at the knowledge of letters and sounds and evolves to an increasingly advanced knowledge of words.