CONSTRUCTIVIST

nokia

Eg. A new Apple iphone 4 is presented to replace  an old nokia.

The user recognizes the Iphone as a tool for communication and uses it for calling and sending SMS. Icons for calling and making SMS is the same and he manages successfully since the concept is the same as his old phone.

This process of recognition and knowing this new gadget corresponds to the process of  assimilation.

The user further explores and adapts other functionalities of iphone- like touch screen, video-calling,  picture taking, goodreading books ( e- books), listening to music ( I – tunes). The iphone  is not a “call –text” gadget but perception and usability has grown into different proportions. These unique aspects of experience of iphone applications and usability cause changes in the cognitive structures ( accommodation).

Following this example- equilibrium is attained when the new IPHONE USER has attained full control and adaptability of his new gadget. He has mastered all the ins and out of his iphone – and maximizing the full option and usability of phone based on what his needs (call, text, internet, e-book ,entertainment etc).Because there is an innate need for harmony (EQUILIBRIUM) , mental structure change in order to incorporate the UNIQUE aspects of experience.

Disequilibrium can contribute to learning through it’s motivational property. I can equate it in applying the principle of FLOW active until cognitive balance is achieved. The dual mechanism of assimilation and accommodation runs in parallel with the driving force of  equilibrium will provide a slow but sure intellectual learning process.

What current practices DO NOT conform to constructivist principles? How would proponents of a constructivist approach to teaching modify classroom experiences? How will they justify such changes?

In classroom organization a behaviorist classroom organization does not allow for change and is organized by the teacher, while a constructivist approach to classroom organization can be reflected in the classroom by allowing flexibility in everything from seating arrangements to the lesson plans to be subject to change.  By letting the students organize their own environment is important because it creates enthusiasm, comfort, and a sense of responsibility for the students.

Motivation is another extremely important factor in the learning process. Instead of “positive and negative reinforcements” which are behaviorist in nature;  motivation can also be inspired by direct involvement and interaction of the students which is according to constructivist views. Constructivist philosophy provides “internal incentives” which are created by the student’s direct involvement in the educational experience.

Discipline plays an important role in the classroom, and DEPED does not condone corporal punishment instead the constructivist ideas on discipline help the students learn responsibility, confidence, and self-expression while also respecting them as individuals with opinions. This is important because it builds goodwill amongst the members of the class, and helps the students grow as individuals. This also gives the students experience working with many people for a common goal.

Teaching styles like spoon feeding or extreme teacher talk  are lessened  so as to incorporate a more constructivist way of teaching like promoting discussions, debates and personal discoveries /experimentations. The monotonous teaching is transformed  to an interactive and enjoyable classroom experience that encourages students to actively involved in their learning process producing a memorable and lasting learning outcome.

How would you qualitatively differentiate “academic success” between traditional (direct instruction) and constructivist teaching?

Academic success gained through direct instruction is exemplified by remembering and recall atomized bits of knowledge or skill based on what has been taught by the teacher. Direct instruction is highly beneficial for “at risk” students and students with learning disability.

On the other hand, academic success from a constructivist learning environment would make use of flexible threads of information to integrate and make connections then give explanations, solve problems and able to direct their own learning. Constructivist is highly beneficial for high order thinking and creative students.

Why might educators (and learners) who have grown used to traditional methods oppose shifting towards a constructivist approach to teaching-learning?

Fear of change- especially control freak teachers, they value their superiority and believe in their own direction of the learning process thus do not want to delegate freedom to students. Constructivist activities are difficult to construct, implement  and time consuming.

Students likewise that have been used to direct supervision –spoon feeding and teacher directed learning, Those who  FEAR responsibility, afraid of committing mistakes ,Shy and introvert students would oppose constructivist approach because they blatantly refuse or hesitant  to collaborate, share  and interact which is a MUST in a constructivist learning environment.

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