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A BRIEF STUDY OF CONSTRUCTIVISM

teacher
 
In today's educational society, technology has become a crucial tool in being able to reach out to each and every learner.  Throughout this semester, I have studying various technological resources which allow educators to explore creative means designed to encourage students to conduct critical thinking.  As the students of today continue to be reliant on the "Technological Age", incorporating technological learning styles will cater to their interests and encourage deeper learning.  It is my hope that this website will offer opportunities for teachers and students to conduct deeper learning and seek to improve their knowledge through constructivist-based activities.


I am a firm supporter of a constructivist approach to learning. Reading "Constructing Knowledge with Technology: A Review of the Literature", only gave me additional reasons why constructivism is effective. In today's educational society, teachers are always looking to promote critical thinking among their students. Constructivism is a terrific way to encourage students to think on their own and conduct in-depth problem solving. Asking students to develop a "self-chosen position" allows them to apply content learned in creative manners. For example, within my own classroom, I apply constructivist approaches on a daily basis. Students are either given tasks where they must work individually or in groups to conduct research and solve a "historical problem" at hand. Just 2 weeks ago, I asked my eleventh graders to put themselves into the lives of Americans during the Great Depression. Students were asked to work in groups to develop a Presidential Program to attempt to solve the problems of the Great Depression. In my opinion, my students love these "Constructivist Challenges" because it allows them to interact with the historical material first-hand and not only rely on memorizing dates and events.

In my experiences, I have noticed that many teachers are fearful of adopting constructivist approaches to learning because they do not have a desire to change. In many cases, educators develop their own teaching style and do not look for new approaches to further student, as well as their own, learning. They have found their own methods to be effective and do not see a need for change. In response, as stated in the article, these "constructivist critics" find constructivism to be rather "revolutionary rather than evolutionary" (p.5). In my opinion, if teachers do not have a desire to change or learn new things, students will not have a desire to change or learn new things. I have found that these teachers are usually only concerned with having students master content to perform well on a test; personally, I find that we are preparing students for the test as well as proper critical thinking and decision-making. I understand that many may be fearful of constructivism because it is new and different; however, it can be quite beneficial because it is holding students accountable for their own learning! As the lead administrator, I would encourage teachers to implement constructivist approaches to learning through cooperative planning exercises. If teachers see effective methods to incorporate constructivism, they might be more likely to use it themselves. Additionally, when the administrator comes in to observe the teacher as they incorporate these techniques, it allows them [the teacher] to feel like they have mastered a new lesson as well.

I find constructivism to be effective on an individual as well as a group scale. Students appreciate having the ability to control their own "educational destiny"!  Regardless of the students' academic levels or abilities, constructivism creates an "Equality of Education."  As educators, we are always looking for ways to differentiate instruction and have each and every student think critically; constructivism helps to establish that "eduational equilibrium"!  

As you continue to explore my website, please continue to ponder how each of the activities may help you to reach out to each and every one of your students.  As educators, we must continue to work together toward one common goal: helping all students maximize their academic potential.  It is my hope that you will find this site easy to navigate and gain valuable resources through your "Cyber Academic Journey".

Please travel to the "Table of Contents" to continue your "Educational Expedition".

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