Are you doing Constructivism? Print this page

Untitled document

If you are ... then you are doing the following for your students, with your students and through your students:

  • Become one of many resources that the student may learn from, not the primary source of information.
  • Engage students in experiences that challenge previous conceptions of their existing knowledge.
  • Allow student respones to drive lessons and seek elaboration of students' initial responses.
  • Allow student some thinking time after posing questions.
  • Encourage the spirit of questioning by asking thoughtful, open-ended questions.  Encourage encourage thoughtful discussion among students.
  • Use cognitive terminology such as "classify," "analyze", and "create" when framing tasks.
  • Encourage and accept student autonomy and initiative.  Be willing to let go of classroom control.
  • Use raw data and primary sources, along with manipulative, interactive physical materials.
  • Don't separate knowing from the process of finding out.
  • Insist on clear expression from students.  When students can communicate their understanding, then they have truly learned.
  • Knowledge as a whole is problematized, not just the learner's subjective knowledge, including mathematical knowledge and logic.
  • Methodological approaches are required to be much more circumspect and reflexive because there is no "royal road" to truth or near truth.
  • The focus of concern is not just the learner's cognitions, but the learner's cognitions, beliefs, and conceptions of knowledge.
  • The focus of concern with the teacher and in teacher education is not just with the teacher's knowledge of subject matter and diagnostic skills, but with the teacher's belief, conceptions, and personal theories about subject matter, teaching, and learning.
  • Although we can tentatively come to know the knowledge of others by interpreting their language and actions through our own conceptual constructs, the others have realities that are independent of ours. Indeed, it is the realities of others along with our own realities that we strive to understand, but we can never take any of these realities as fixed.
  • An awareness of the social construction of knowledge suggests a pedagogical emphasis on discussion, collaboration, negotiation, and shared meanings