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Is Constructivism The Best Philosophy For Education?

932 words - 4 pages

State the main pro ideas:Constructivism may be defined as a learning philosophy whereby the emphasis is placed on the learner or the student rather than the teacher or the instructor. Clinical development professor David Elkind contends that the philosophical positions found in constructivism, though difficult to apply, are necessary elements in a meaningful reform of educational practices. The author used various well known researchers to substantiate his view point. These researchers include Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky and Jerome Bruner. They have basically contented that constructivism is indeed the best approach for students. They have compared the constructivist theory with the traditional instructional models. The researchers pointed out that traditional models place emphasis on knowledge transmission without producing deeper levels of understanding and internalization. Basically, they believe that students should not be like sponges just soaking what the teacher has taught but they should take responsibility for their learning. Students should be able to invent their own solutions and try out ideas and hypotheses.State the main con ideas:The author highlighted that there are three forms of readiness that must be in alignment if constructivism is to be successful and if these fail, then constructivism fails. In terms of teacher readiness, it has been argued that those teachers who try to implement the constructivist method in the classroom are blocked by unsupportive teachers. There also has to be thorough understanding of the curriculum. If teachers do not have a comprehensive knowledge of the curriculum they will not know the level which the curriculum is most suited for. Teachers should be able to match the child's level of mental development to the subject matter. The society has to also be able to adapt to the change. For such a pedagogy to be implemented it would need the support of parents and other stakeholders.State your opinion on the issue:The goal of instruction is not to ensure that students memorize specific facts, but rather that students elaborate on and interpret the information presented to them. The focus of constructivism is on creating cognitive tools which reflect the world in which they are used as well as the experiences of the students. Some of the specific strategies utilized by constructivism include situating tasks in real world contexts, use of cognitive apprenticeships (modeling and coaching a student toward expert performance), presentation of multiple perspectives (collaborate learning to develop and share viewpoints), social negotiations (debate, discussion, evidence gathering), use of reflective awareness and guidance on the use of constructive processes.Curriculum should be structured for it to have power and make a difference in the lives of students and the society in which they live. Focusing on depth on a smaller number of skills and concepts will lead to greater understanding and retention and will also...

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