EDU 202: Section 1001
Graffam, B. (2003). Constructivism and understanding: implementing the teaching for understanding framework. Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, 15(1), 13-19.
Graffam (2003) explains his technique for implementing constructivism into secondary education. His goal was to create a curriculum to challenge students beyond what they do in every class. He wanted the students to start cognitive thinking and to fully understand what they are learning, rather than memorizing it for a test. By having the student’s complete weekly journals he was able to build upon their past experiences and show development in their understanding of the subject matter rather than simply giving tests.
This article is written for aspiring teachers, showing them an advanced way to form your curriculum. Graffam (2003) designs what he calls the Teaching for Understanding (TfU) framework that breaks down into three distinct constructivist dimensions: The active process, the social process, and the creative process. Social interaction is what school is about, and embracing this and getting each students thoughts for everyone to compare and critique is crucial in constructivism.
One thing I loved that he did was the way he introduced his beliefs in what he calls “The Rubric of Understanding.” This goes hand in hand with my beliefs of teaching that just because you can memorize a book, doesn’t mean that you actually understand the subject. Throughout the article you can see his practices being put to work with the students, and he explains in the article that this is his third year in the state of Florida implementing his TfU framework.
In conclusion I think that his framework that he developed is inspiring. It not only challenges the teacher to create something that is out of the ordinary, it challenges the students beyond their comfort level. The success of the students relies on their ability to think outside of the box and transform what they know. This is the stuff that excites me to be an educator and something I will definitely implement in my lesson planning.
Hackmann, D. G. (2004). Constructivism and block scheduling: making the connection. Phi Delta Kappan, 85(9), 697-702.
The next article that I picked to use in my research was by Hackmann (2004) out of the University of Illinois. I picked this article because it built on the premise of Constructivism and block scheduling going hand and hand. Hackmann (2004) made a valid point that “much of the published literature on block scheduling tends to focus primarily on issues having to do with school climate or implementation- pedagogy typically receives only cursory treatment”(p 699).
It was Hackmann’s (2004) belief that while block scheduling ends up giving ways to a lot of constructivist theories, that they should become more intertwined. While elementary and middle school teachers have more range to use the theories behind constructivism with self-learning and less emphasis on content, at the high school level this is extremely difficult to factor into their curriculum. Using block scheduling provides the perfect canvas for the theories of learning from constructivist pedagogy. Hackmann (2004) suggests that when the shift from teaching to learning happens in block scheduling, the students become the workers. This is the main principle behind constructivism, having the students teach themselves so that the better understand it.
This article was helpful to me because I went to a high school that featured block scheduling. Hackmann (2004) believed students were more responsible for the information we learned. The best classes that I had were the ones that the teacher was more there to assist us in learning, rather than talking at us.
Hackmann (2004) showed research backing the improvement of students learning in block scheduling compared to standard fifty-five minute classes. The...