Encouraging Constructivism In Today's Classroom Essay

2153 words - 9 pages

Laptops, I-pads, I-pods, tablets of all types, smart phones, technology in general is the era that me as an upcoming primary school teacher is coming up in. These technologies whether we believe it or not our young children ages 4- 12 which is the age range that students are in the primary school are all using them to their fullest capacity. Therefore, when we as teachers go in the front of the students to teach it cannot be watch and write anymore, because most children do not learn that way anymore. When you begin to engage your students in your lesson you find out that these children have experiences that we can use to bring the information alive with to them so that they better ...view middle of the document...

(Fritscher, 2008). For this reason when we come across something new, we compare it to something that we have had previous experience with and ideas about and how to deal with it. This situation now may change what we believe or may cause us to look at the new information as irrelevant and discard it. The constructivist theory asserts that we are active learners and creators of our own knowledge.
Due to the way humans operate and because not everyone things and looks at things the same way constructivism divides learning into two types: accommodation and assimilation. Hence, the focus is now on the individual’s desire and ability to learn, and the teacher or therapist in some instances is only there to help guide self- directed learning. Assimilation from the constructivist point of view is learning that occurs when new information is absorbed or received into an existing framework which is the persons mind. The person then takes this new information and incorporates it into their beliefs and understandings that already exist. Their overall beliefs and understanding of the world do not change. For example if Sidney have a basic understanding of physics it will be easy for him to assimilate the things he learned into his graduate physics class. The new information that Sidney receives from his physics graduate class is combined and incorporated into his overall belief and understanding of what he already knows about physics.
Accommodation is one if two ways that we as humans actively learn. When we try something and we don’t get the results we were expecting, we change our beliefs to accommodate that new information that we have just experience. (Fritscher, Accommodation, 2008). For instance John believed that construction was a man’s job and women were too weak to do construction work. However, when he saw a woman lifting tools and other construction materials he accommodated that new information and accepted that women can do construction work if they want too. Hence at one point or another we can remember one time or another on a daily basis when we assimilated or accommodated new information into our existing beliefs and understanding. Hence the constructivism process of learning begins with a schema which is typically a misconception, we then test the schema and if we get the expected results we assimilate. If we do not get the results that we were expecting we accommodate and develop a new schema.
In addition to accommodating and assimilating new information there are several guiding principles that could be related to having a constructivist classroom
1. Learning is a search for meaning. Therefore, learning must start with the issues around which students are actively trying to construct meaning.
2. Meaning requires understanding wholes as well as parts. And parts must be understood in the context of wholes. Therefore, the learning process focuses on primary concepts, not isolated facts.
3. In order to teach well, we must understand...

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