C. Adam Harness
Constructivism Learning and Teaching Model
The constructivism model in the classroom is a theory created to explain how and what we know. Building knowledge and problem solving are the main focuses for this model. From the analysis of our own experiences, both past and present, we “construct” our understanding of content. From doing things and reflecting upon them, we acquire information that can be useful in future applications. (Lamon, M. 2003). The model was conceived by Jean Piaget (1896-1980), who believed that human beings developed intelligence through adaptation and organization. One example is that of transformative learning, whereby children develop an understanding of something using whatever details they have at the time, and then adjust that understanding as they go along, rather than putting the details together piecemeal to come to a conclusion. Piaget is considered the originator of constructivism. However there are a number of different theories that have been applied to modify his original model. For instance, Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934), developed a relevant contribution to constructivism with his ideas about language, thought, and how they work within the societal picture. For example, he believed that children learn better in environments where there is guided interaction versus those where they work independently. (Lamon, M. 2003). The 5E model: engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration, and evaluation, was a model developed from the ideas of Piaget, John Dewey, and Johann Herbart. This model was designed to encourage knowledge construction and begins with prompting the current understanding of a subject matter. Engagement is used to recall prior knowledge. Students who are learning new subjects and content have their interest piqued through engaging in brief activities. Some of these activities include asking specific questions, brainstorming, and providing a scenario to see...
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