Learning Theories: Group Assignment Group F Constructivism

Each group should do reading and research about their assigned theory, including the following sections in their wiki-based report:

*Overview of the Theory

*Describe what the underlying ideas about learning are for this theory.

Constructivism: a theory about how people learn.

    • People construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences.

      • When new things are encountered, people go back to their previous ideas and experiences, sometimes our beliefs change and other times we just ignore the new information.

    • People are active creators of their own knowledge.

      • Must: ask questions, explore, and assess what we know.

    • Classroom Specifics:

      • Teachers are encouraging students to use active techniques to create more knowledge and to be able to reflect on their changes of understanding.

        • Ex: experiments and real-world problem solving

    • The teacher makes sure he/she understands the students’ preexisting conceptions, and guides the activity to address them and then build on them.

*Compare & Contrast Constructivism w/ Gardner's Multiple Intelligences & Cognitivism*

They theory of constructivism is based upon the philosophy of learning and reflecting upon our experiences. With this we are able to understand the world around us. Learning is simply the process of adjusting our rules to accommodate new experiences we face in life.

In learning constructivism supports working from students previous knowledge while learning through hands on experiences. Much like the Multiple Intelligences Theory (Gardner) Piaget believed that standard curriculum and testing is not an appropriate way of measuring student's achievement and abilities. Gardner was a true believer that standardized testing can only measure a small percent of a students full potential.

Cognitivism is much like constructivism in that all people learn from their "schemata". Their learning then changes around this schemata (or mental processes). Constructivism believes that students will learn through problem solving which is a smaller portion of one's mental processes.

*The four main theorists of Constructivism*

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SlideShare presentation that is relevant (click on WIDGET above and copy/paste embed code)-Katie
  • embed a SHORT and relevant video from YouTube-Kaia

Educational Implications

Constructivist Teaching Methods:
  • Teachers lead through modeling, coaching, and scaffolding responses.
  • Teachers encourage communication between teachers and students.
  • Students are very self-motivated to learn.
  • Students construct their own knowledge.
  • Teachers challenge students previous conceptions.
  • Provide enough time for students to create their own meaning when introducing new concepts.
  • Lessons are mainly interactive.
  • The classroom is a very social and collaborative environment.
  • It is a democratic classroom.
  • Activities include: discussions, KWL (Know, Want to learn, and Learned), and hands-on activities.

Constructivism mainly uses the bottom 4 methods (Demonstration, Discussion, Practical doing, and Teach others)

external image pyramid1.png

Technology Implications

Constructivism and Technology

Constructivism is the theory that the construction of an individual's new knowledge is based on two ideas: accommodation and assimilation. Assimilating causes an individual to incorporate new experiences into the old experiences. This causes the individual to develop new outlooks, rethink what were once misunderstandings, and evaluate what is important, ultimately altering their perceptions. Accommodation, on the other hand, is reframing the world and new experiences into the mental capacity already present. Individuals conceive a particular fashion in which the world operates. When things do not operate within that context, they must accommodate and reframing the expectations with the outcomes.
Constructivism and technology are working hand-in-hand in the present day. With regards to geometry, constructivism and technology work together to produce a better understanding of the middle school curriculum. Students should be able to identify direction, orientation, have a clear perception of object relation. Making logical deductions from the geometric shapes and patterns is the next step in this learning process. Constructivism and technology allow for computers to generate both two-dimensional objects and three-dimensional objects on the screen. This enables students to view the screen and move the shapes either to another side, turned around completed, or stretched, turned, or flipped. This gives the students a better perspective of the item which they cannot hold in their hand. They can then develop better understanding of spatial sense.
As the students progress into high school and need to focus more on algebraic and synthetic perspectives, constructivism and technology again work together to aid this learning process. The computer-based exploration of coordinates, sequencing of theorems, figures, and modeling allows students to come to conclusions on their own which are supported by the alterations and observations made about the problem or figure or pattern on the computer screen.

The internet is a breakthrough in technology and has built an endless amount of possibilities for constructivism and technology. Math and science are greatly aided by the ability to view sketches online, make alterations, hypothesis about specific impacts to structure and then test those impacts with a few clicks of the mouse. Math and science forums are available from astute academic institutions to aid in the development of younger students. These forums create a space for constructivism learning at its best, allowing demonstrations of mathematical and scientific theorems and experiments, followed by online discussions open for students and teachers.
New software is available for students to download and practice with on their own or with friends and family, exploring new dimensions of education and creating more conclusions based off of internet exchanges. Many of the online forums include larger problems, one each week, or one each month, which allows the students to individually work to solve it and then come together frequently to discuss with students online. In the end, the answer is provided along with a presentation of the process so that students gain a better understanding and respect for other methods used in constructivism and technology. Overall, increases in technology can only continue to aid constructivism learning.


This could be used in the articles or in under this section: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Constructivism_%26_Technology/Individual_Learners


Student Teachers' Perception of Instructional Technology: Developing Materials based on a Constructivist Approach


Sahin,Tugba Yanpar. (2003). Student teachers' perception of instructional technology: developing materials based on a constructivist approach. British Journal of Educational Technology,
(34)1,67- 74.


The article Student teachers' perceptions of instructional technology: developing materials based on a constructivist approach reports on a study that is done through Zonguldak Karaelmas University in Turkey. The college had found that their students were not experienced with technology, so they implemented this study to give each student teacher the chance to learn and apply these skills to learn that incorperating technolgy in their classrooms will be necessary, efficient, and overall more effective for their students. Constructivism shows that they are several differnt learning styles and that we need to approach them all. Therefore, we may need to use methods that are more direct then the traditional methods we have used for centuries. The study is testing wether or not it would be beneficial to use a constructivist approach and instructional technology in all classrooms. To conduct the study they use 80 student teachers and split them up, 50 in a third grade classroom and 30 in a fourth grade classroom.They University choose to work with third and fourth grades because the learning processes are so different between the grades. The third graders were placed in groups to work to find three to four different sets of materials, such as computer lesson units, transparencies, and videos. The fourth grades worked on their assignments individually and prepared one or two sets of teaching materials that could be used for a course in elementary education. The fourth graders were also evaluated by other students along with the teacher at the end of the study. The results founded by the study were great, both the third and fourth graders had nothing but good to say about thier learning experience. Overall, students percieved the use of the constructivist approach to be very beneficial. Over 90% said that they loved being active when working within the course, becuase they found that the more they were involved the more positive they were about the whole project. It also helped all the students to unit by either being in a goup or evaluating one another. They also all agreed that they enjoyed the the instructor was a guide for these activities and responded well to the benefits that the constructivist lessons were bringing into the classroom.

Some of the third grade students comments were:
"Effective teaching occurs when effective course materials are used. Being active can be defined as active production. We studied as a group. We made different materials. I learned by seeing,making and living. I like my score. Scores were objective."
"Being active is fine. We completed our materials and I was pleased with our production."
"We made research, material. I used my skills. I used computer, video etc other technologies. I enjoyed being active. We have to be active as the teachers of future."
"Learning is important rather than scores. I learned a lot of knowledge. Concrete materials are important for effective learning. I learned concrete activities. I studied as a teacher. We evaluated our friends."

These lessons got the students moving but also build on thier prior knowledge and made learning fun!
Table 1: The perceptions of 3rd grade students (N:50)

Code of Perceptions                                                                 Frequencies     %
The development of theoretical knowledge                                                20         40
The preparation of materials in a group                                                 46         92
Lecture in a group                                                                      36         72
Research and observation                                                                28         56
Being active                                                                            46         92
Prior-knowledge is needed from curriculum development                                   18         36
   and educational pschology courses
Lessons are pleasant and enjoyable                                                      40         80
Producing original materials                                                            <span class="hit">34</span>         68
Meaningful learning of teaching for elementary students                                 22         44
Assessment of the group with scores of this lesson were given to individuals            26         52
The process is important for assessment                                                 18         36
This lesson must be learned by the individual                                            8         16
This course is useful for teaching development                                          24         48
Instructor is an guide for the student teacher                                          18         36
Make proposals and critiques on course materials prepared by the students               16         32
Sharing and cooperation within the group                                                16         32
This lesson must be group learning                                                      16         32
Effort is very important for success in this lesson                                     36         72
Some of the fourth grade students comments were:
"I made my material. I was an active learner. After I made my material, I presented it to my friends as an example elementary course. I learned the preparation of different materials with different technologies. Also, I observed my friends and evaluated their materials with my class and my lecturer."
"Students can be evaluated according to the usefulness of their materials and their active participation. I learned curriculum development before the lesson. But these lessons are better than before, because. I learned different materials and technologies in instructional technologies and materials development course."
"I was active throughout this lesson. Being active is useful for academic self concept and positive attitudes. The students were evaluated with their efforts, their original products and uses of these materials and technologies for the lesson of the elementary school."
They loved the way the lessons were set up, it proves that a childs perceptions of a lesson either positive or negative can grealty affect thier learning of the material that is being presented.
Table 2: The perceptions of 4th grade students (N:30)
Code of Perceptions                                                                 Frequencies     %
The development of theoretical knowledge                                                12          40.0
The preparation of materials by an individual                                           28          93.3
Lecture by an individual                                                                26          86.6
Materials exhibition                                                                    10          33.3
Being active in this lesson                                                             30         100
Prior knowledge is needed from curriculum development and                               22          73.3
   educational pschology courses.
Lessons are pleasant and enjoyable                                                      26          86.6
Producing original materials as an individual                                           26          86.6
Meaningful learning of teaching for elementary students                                 22          73.3
Scores of this lesson were given as process                                             28          93.3
Assesment was objective                                                                 18          60.0
This lesson must be learned by the individual                                           10          33.3
This course is useful for teaching development                                          18          60.0
Instructor is a guide for student teacher                                               18          60.0
Make proposals and critique on course materials prepared by the students                22          73.3


I think this article is a great because it deals with the whole reason that all of us are in this class and doing this project right now. In order to be able to teach our future students to use technology to better their learning experiences we have to know how to use them first. This article shows first hand that when children are exposed to using technolgy in the classroom the do very well. Using technology also makes it fun for all the students! For students who do not have technology at home it can really open thier eyes. By using Softchalk and Wiki's we are gaining knowledge about technologies that a lot of our students may already be accostumed to. This is an era of technology and it will only get worse. So by taking the bull by the horns and throwing ourselves into situations that we may feel uncomfortable, we will learn how to cope. We have to realize how several of our future students may feel this way all the time. Maybe they feel frustrated in math or science, so how can we help them? We can help by knowing how they feel and providing the right technolgy or knowldge to help them approach their issues in a way where they will overcome them.

The Role of Conversation in Technology Education

Fox-Turnbull, Wendy . (2010). The Role of Conversation in Technology Education. Design and Technology Education, (15)1, 24-30.

The article The Role of Conversation in Technology Education discusses a new curriculum that New Zealand is implementing in their technology classes. The curriculum focuses on using a constructivism and conversation between peers and teachers to allow students to first create their own meanings and then adds real-world applications and problems all having to do with technology. Students learn about technology in a very social environment, because technology is a very social subject and is created by all people. By teaching students to use technology they can experience a world far beyond where they live, and these experiences will enrich and make a difference in each students community. When students can collaborate with their peers and teachers they can work to solve community issues and world issues using their knowledge of technology.
The article also discusses the importance of communication in technology education. By communicating while learning about technology students are forced to verbally and physically work through problems they encounter while working with technology. Communication also allows students to construct their own ideas about a subject, and then allows students to reconstruct their ideas when they hear from other students. Allowing students to talk during a lesson is a necessity because dialogue is the discussion that takes place during the course of education activities. Communication creates moments of openness and allows the mind to accept new information. Using communication during education also allows to students to become great dialoguers who can communicate efficiently and politely. Teachers must also be effective communicators and allow their students to add their own opinions to the lesson.

This article is very relevant to this class because is it about technology education. I feel as though we have a class that employs constructivism and allows for a lot of conversation and sharing. Technology is so ever-changing that one person can have a hard time staying up-to-date on all the new emerging technologies. Have an open classroom that is free to share ideas and experiences one person doesn't have to be responsible for everything. The aspect of constructivism that I really feel allows students to grow and learn concepts on a deeper level is that through constructivism we allow the student to form their own ideas and opinions first and then dive into the subject deeper. By doing this we allow the student to create a very deep and personal connection with information, and once that connection is made it is much easier to teach and have the students be willing to learn. Conversation is the classroom is also a great idea, because it allows students to feel as though they are truly a part of the class and have a place where their opinion matters. Students should always feel safe and comfortable before learning can ever begin, and as a teacher provided a safe environment needs to be our most important goal.


Find a relevant presentation about the assigned theory / theorician on http://slideshare.net and embed it below.

Concept Map

  • Provide a concept map that integrates the information you've located into a visual drawing using one of the Concept Mapping applications that will be demonstrated in class.
  • Your map must include at least 2 hyperlinks to relevant textual resources, 1 hyperlink to a relevant video, clipart/images to make the concept map visually attractive, and appropriate coloring/organization to clearly showcase the ideas.