Classroom Applications of Constructivism
Learning theory of constructivism incorporates a learning process wherein the student gains their own conclusions through the creative aid of the teacher as a facilitator. The best way to plan teacher worksheets, lesson plans, and study skills for the students, is to create a curriculum which allows each student to solve problems while the teacher monitors and flexibly guides the students to the correct answer, while encouraging critical thinking.
Instead of having the students relying on someone else's information and accepting it as truth, the students should be exposed to data, primary sources, and the ability to interact with other students so that they can learn from the incorporation of their experiences. The classroom experience should be an invitation for a myriad of different backgrounds and the learning experience which allows the different backgrounds to come together and observe and analyze information and ideas.
Hands-on activities are the best for the classroom applications of constructivism, critical thinking and learning. Having observations take place with a daily journal helps the students to better understand how their own experiences contribute to the formation of their theories and observational notes, and then comparing them to another students' reiterates that different backgrounds and cultures create different outlooks, while neither is wrong, both should be respected.
Some strategies for classroom applications of constructivism for the teacher include having students working together and aiding to answer one another's questions. Another strategy includes designating one student as the "expert" on a subject and having them teach the class. Finally, allowing students to work in groups or pairs and research controversial topics which they must then present to the class.
Overall, the setting should include classroom applications of constructivism within a few key concepts. The first is discovering and maintaining an individual's intellectual identity. This forces students to support their own theories, in essence taking responsibility for their words and respecting those of others. The next component is having the teacher ask open-ended questions and leaving time to allow the students to think and analyze a response, based on their experiences and personal inquiry. Open-ended questions and critical thinking encourage students to seek more than just a simple response or basic facts and incorporate the justification and defense of their organized thoughts.
The next step is allowing constant conversation between the students and teacher. This engagement creates a discourse of comfort wherein all ideas can be considered and understood and the students then feel safe about challenging other hypotheses, defending their own, and supporting real-world situations with abstract supporting data.
These exercises and classroom applications of constructivism will allow children to, at an early age or a late age, develop the skills and confidence to analyze the world around them, create solutions or support for developing issues, and then justify their words and actions, while encouraging those around them to do the same and respecting the differences in opinions for the contributions that they can make to the whole of the situation. Classroom applications of constructivism support the philosophy of learning which build a students' and teachers' understanding.