Constructivist Theory: Teaching Theory Essay

2061 words - 8 pages

Among many teaching styles and learning theories, there is one that is becoming more popular, the constructivist theory. The constructivist theory focuses on the way a person learns, a constructivist believes that the person will learn better when he/she is actively engaged. The person acts or views objects and events in their environment, in the process, this person then understands and learns from the object or events(P. Johnson, 2004). When we encounter a certain experience in our life, we think back to other things that have occurred in our life and use that to tackle this experience. In a lot of cases, we are creators of our own knowledge. In a classroom, the constructivist theory encourages more hands-on assignments or real-world situations, such as, experiments in science and math real-world problem solving. A constructivist teacher constantly checks up on the student, asking them to reflect what they are learning from this activity. The teacher should be keeping track on how they approached similar situations and help them build on that. The students can actually learning how to learn in a well-planned classroom. Many people look at this learning style as a spiral, the student is constantly learning from each new experience and their ideas become more complex and develop stronger abilities to integrate this information(P. Johnson, 2004). An example of a constructivist classroom would be, the student is in science class and everyone is asking questions, although the teacher knows the answer, instead of just giving it to them, she attempts to get the students to think through their knowledge and try to come up with a logical answer. A problem with this method of learning is that people believe that it is excusing the role of the teacher and he/she won’t be needed anymore. In reality, the constructivist theory only modifies the teachers role, instead of just stating a series of facts, the teacher now helps to advance the students knowledge by helping them construct their own knowledge(P. Johnson, 2004). The teacher can change from a more lectured learning to problem-solving and inquiry based learning. Being guided by the teacher, the student learns actively rather than mechanically ingesting the information through the teacher or textbook.
When trying to depict the difference between traditional learning and constructivist, there is multiple things that separate the two. In a traditional classroom, they generally begin by learning the parts of the whole, emphasizing basic skills. While in a constructivist class, the teacher begins with the whole then expands into parts(J. Giesen, 2007). Textbooks and workbooks are used in a traditional class and materials used in specific experiments and other materials are in a constructivist class. For a traditional class, they stay strict to the curriculum, the instructor gives, while the student receives, and the students usually work individually. It is the complete opposite in a constructivist class....

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