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Constructivism In The Classroom Essay

2393 words - 10 pages

1. Constructivism is a method that says students learn by building their schema by adding to their prior knowledge by the use of scaffolding (Rhinehart Neas). Because the students are basically teaching themselves new information, the teacher is there mainly for support and guidance for the students.
Pro: By using a constructivist approach to teaching, students will be “fully engaged in their own learning” (Rhinehart Neas). This allows the students to make sense of what they are doing by relating it to the real world and where they could use the information in their future.
Con: Constructivism classrooms do not have much room for structure (Rhinehart Neas). For new teachers, structure is important to maintain to have control of the classroom. Constructivism is meant for classrooms that can be more student centered than teacher controlled. For new teachers this method could not work very well. Another problem with constructivism is that students may not have the prior knowledge to begin a new lesson (Rhinehart Neas). The student that does not understand is also going to be the student who does not ask for help. Therefore, the teacher sometimes does need to teach and not just be a guide.
2. Inquiry Learning is a way to make the student find their own answers for their questions (Lakes Matyas, Ph.D). Posing a question for the students is a way to get them started. Then, by guiding the students on their own different searches, they all come together in the end to share their findings to answer the question.
Pro: Students today really enjoy the use of technology. With the teachers help the students should be completely engaged in their quest to find an answer. Like constructivism the students are also in charge of their own learning and can use inquiry learning to learn at their own speed.
Con: Inquiry learning and using research to learn can be very difficult based on what students could find on the internet and other research engines (Swan). Students would have to have been taught how to use the internet properly and how to use it to research. This can take up a lot needed class time (Swan). This method is also not very useful for all subject areas. For example, math, students could be asked to find a formula to solve a word problem. Students would have to know how to use technology to find the formula, then how to use said formula, while staying on task. This uses a lot of time for one word problem.
3. Discovery Learning, like inquiry learning is learning through experiments and discovery. Students are to make a hypothesis, find possible solutions, and test the solutions to find the best possible answer for the problem ("Discovery Learning").
Pro: Discovery learning allows the students to be curious about the lesson they are learning ("Discovery Learning"). Curiosity makes the student more engaged to find the solution. While each student may come up with the same answer, discovery learning lets students find explanations in different ways...

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