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Paul Mahoney's List: Paul's LT4 Act 1 Learning Theories

  • 01 Feb 11

    Website explaining the Constructivism learning theory.
    A reaction to didactic approaches such as behaviorism and programmed instruction, constructivism states that learning is an active, contextualized process of constructing knowledge rather than acquiring it. Knowledge is constructed based on personal experiences and hypotheses of the environment. Learners continuously test these hypotheses through social negotiation. Each person has a different interpretation and construction of knowledge process. The learner is not a blank slate (tabula rasa) but brings past experiences and cultural factors to a situation.

  • 01 Feb 11

    Website explaining the Constructivism learning theory.
    Constructivism learning theory is a philosophy which enhances students' logical and conceptual growth. The underlying concept within the constructivism learning theory is the role which experiences-or connections with the adjoining atmosphere-play in student education.

  • 01 Feb 11

    A background on Social and Cognitive Constructivism focusing on Piaget and Vygotsky.
    An effective classroom, where teachers and students are communicating optimally, is dependent on using constructivist strategies, tools and practices. There are two major types of constructivism in the classroom: (1) Cognitive or individual constructivism depending on Piaget's theory, and (2) Social constructivism depending on Vygotsky's theory. Similarities include inquiry teaching methods and students creating concepts built on existing knowledge that are relevant and meaningful. Differences include language development theory where thinking precedes language for cognitive constructivism and language precedes thinking for the theory of social constructivism. Understanding communicative tools and strategies helps teachers to develop individual learning methods such as, discovery learning, and social interactive to develop peer collaboration.

  • 01 Feb 11

    The current faddish use of the term constructivism has taken on as many different definitions as the number of people attempting to define it. This essay clarifies the meaning of constructivism through an examination of Karl Popper's and Jean Piaget's theories. The authors provide a rationale for the use of Popper's paradigm of "Three Worlds" and how his criterion for open and closed theories serves as a framework for Piaget's constructivist theory.
    Steve Harlow; Rhoda Cummings; Suzanne M. Aberasturi
    The Educational Forum, 1938-8098, Volume 71, Issue 1, 2006, Pages 41 – 48

  • 04 Feb 11

    Constructivism is basically a theory -- based on observation and scientific study -- about how people learn. It says that people construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world, through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences. When we encounter something new, we have to reconcile it with our previous ideas and experience, maybe changing what we believe, or maybe discarding the new information as irrelevant. In any case, we are active creators of our own knowledge. To do this, we must ask questions, explore, and assess what we know.

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List Comments (3)
  • on 2011-02-01 Paul Mahoney -Send Message
    Piaget's main focus of constructivism has to do with the individual and how the individual constructs knowledge. Cognitive constructivism came directly from Piaget's work. Piaget's theory of cognitive development proposes that humans cannot be given information, which they immediately understand and use; instead, humans must construct their own knowledge (Piaget, 1953). He stated that children's schemas are constructed through the process of assimilation and accommodation, when going through four different stages of development (Wadsworth, 2004). Piaget's (1953) four stages of development are: Sensorimotor stage, which a child goes through from ages zero to two; preoperational stage (two to seven years old), concrete operational stage (seven to eleven years old), and the formal operational stage (eleven years old to adulthood).
  • on 2011-02-01 Paul Mahoney -Send Message
    An effective classroom, where teachers and students are communicating optimally, is dependent on using constructivist strategies, tools and practices. There are two major types of constructivism in the classroom: ( 1) Cognitive or individual constructivism depending on Piaget's theory, and ( 2) Social constructivism depending on Vygotsky's theory. Similarities include inquiry teaching methods and students creating concepts built on existing knowledge that are relevant and meaningful. Differences include language development theory where thinking precedes language for cognitive constructivism and language precedes thinking for the theory of social constructivism. Understanding communicative tools and strategies helps teachers to develop individual learning methods such as, discovery learning, and social interactive activities to develop peer collaboration.
  • on 2011-02-01 Paul Mahoney -Send Message
    Vygotsky is a firm believer that social interaction and cultural influences have a huge effect on a student and how learning occurs. Teachers should recognize the diversity of the class and embrace their differences. Diversity can be defined as different ethnic backgrounds, but in the classroom is it a combination of ethnicity, identity and biological differences that give varied experiences and understanding to each individual (Woolfolk, 2004). Students have to understand themselves and others around them before they can start learning the curriculum. A teacher that embraces the various cultures can have students discuss their different backgrounds to one another. Just as students talk about their different cultures, they should talk about the material being taught. Some teachers are under the impression that talking during class is detrimental to learning. It is not that mindless chatter should be tolerated, but teachers can use the verbal energy that students have to their advantage. Teachers should promote dialogue of the material so that students can critically think about what they are learning. If they think critically, they will walk away with personal meaning that was constructed on their own. The idea of discussion is echoed throughout social constructivism and is enriched through diversity.