Constructivist Approach In Education

1388 Words6 Pages
Tobin (1993) noted that the constructivist approach has become increasingly popular over the last ten years and it therefore represents a paradigm shift in teaching science. Yeany (1991) argued that "an unification of thought, research, curriculum development and teacher training now seems to happen under the theme of construction"(p 1). According to Scott, Asoko, Emberto and Driver (1994), "science learning involves epistemological and conceptual development in a constructivist perspective" (p. 219).
Constructivism sees learning as a social and dynamic process in which learners construct meaning from their experiences as part of their previous understandings and the social environment (Driver,Asoko, Leach,Scott and Mortomer, 1994). The
…show more content…
The teaching methods based on constructivist approach are very effective to help students understand, recall and apply the essential information, concepts and skills. They are used to make lessons interesing, activate students ' prior knowledge, help to develop and organise information and promote questioning. Slavin( 1994,p. 237-239) discusses the important concepts of this approach as mentioned below:
Advance organisers: general statements given before instruction that links new information to existing knowledge to help students process new information by activating background knowledge, suggesting relevance and encouraging accommodation;
Analogies: highlighting the similarities between things that are otherwise unlike, to help students learn new information by relating it to concepts they already have; and
Elaboration: the process of reflection on the new material in a way that connects it with existing
…show more content…
Traditional classes are normally dominated by direct and unilateral instruction. Teachers following the traditional approach presume that there is a fixed body of knowledge that the student must come to know. Students are expected to blindly accept the information they are provided without questioning the teacher (Stofflett, 1998). The teacher seeks to transmit meanings and thought to the passive student providing little room for questions initiated by students, independent reflection or interaction between students ( VAST, 1998). Even in activity-based subjects when learners are working activities in a group, group discussion or exploration of the concepts are not promoted. This tends to neglect critical thinking and unifying concepts essential to authentic science literacy and appreciation ( Yore 2001). This teacher-centered approach of teaching also assumes that all learners have a comparable basic level of background knowledge in the subject matter and are able to absorb the material at the same pace (Lors,

More about Constructivist Approach In Education

Open Document