Exploring and problem solving to create, integrate, and generalize knowledge, 2. Students driven, interest based activities in which the student determines the sequence and frequency, and 3. Activities to encourage integration of new knowledge into the learner’s existing knowledge base. The first attribute of Discovery Learning is a very important one. Through exploring and problem solving, students take on an active role to create, integrate, and generalize knowledge.
Tony (2014), explained that constructivism learning theory that associate learning with creating connotation from experience. It is known as learner centered. Learning is more having an important effect to students when they are capable to interact with problem or concept. It can help engage and encourage students by making them take or more active role in the learning process. Constructivism utilizes interactive teaching strategies to create important context that facilitate students to build knowledge based on their experience.
It encourages learners to build their own knowledge in order to gain understanding that they may not receive when actively listening in class or reading from a prescribed textbook. “Explains why students do not learn deeply by listening to a teacher, or reading from a textbook” (Roy, 2017). The main theorists that propose Constructivism are John Dewey, Maria Montessori and David Kolb. Constructivism encourages learners to explore the world around in efforts to gain knowledge on particular subjects, thus forming what is known as Discovery Learning in opposition of the children learning passively. An example of a Constructivist activity that may be executed in the classroom is experimentation.
Thus, the concept of learning as a social process and the constructivist approach would provide students with different points of view on a given topic that would make it easy for them to understand difficult topics. The new approach would help educators develop a curriculum that would ensure all the stakeholders benefit from the learning
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
Learning to constructivist is an active process aiming to develop learners’ new ideas based on their current and experience and knowledge (Brandon & All, 2010). Constructivism as a learning theory centers its principles on helping the learning process unlike controlling it as in the view of behaviorism (Lober, 2006). Key contributors to the development of this theoretical approach include Lev Vygotsky, Jean Piaget, and Ernst von Glasersfeld. (Liu & Chen, 2010). The constructivist perspective challenges the traditional way of thinking about how knowledge is acquired as well as challenging objectivism, a concept central to the behaviorist view of learning since objectivism paved the way for the rise of a behaviorist perspective of teaching and learning.
Constructivism theory encourages learners to make new concepts based upon their current/past knowledge. In this sense, the learner selects and transforms information, assembles hypotheses, and formulates decisions relying on a cognitive structure. Cognitive configuration provides meaning and organization to experiences and allows the individual to "go beyond the information given" (Culatta, 2015). Students in this case ascertain, and assess what they know. They are active creators of their own knowledge.
Conceptual Framework of the Study This study is anchored on the concept of Osborne (1990) as cited by Stylianidou (1999) that computer models can be used to develop a better conceptual understanding than traditional quantitative approaches. This is supported by Merriam and Caffarella as cited by Cbraziel (2006) that says “constructivist stance maintains that learning is a process of constructing meaning; it is how people make sense of their experience”. Constructivism implies the notion that learners do not passively absorb information but construct it themselves. The “Learning by Doing” of John Dewey claims that students should take part in their own learning because they perform better if they interact and experience the environment. Crotty as cited by Jonassen, D. (2000) posited that Constructivist educators strive to create environments where learners are required to examine thinking and learning processes; collect, record, and analyze data; formulate and test hypotheses; reflect on previous understandings; and construct their own meaning.
According to his model, there are three stages of representation. These are the inactive stage in which knowledge comes in the form of motor responses, the iconic stage in which the knowledge is converted to visual images, and finally, the symbolic stage in which the knowledge is now in the form of words and symbols (Cherry, 2004). Constructivism gained attention for several reasons, such as its learner-centered approach and active participation of students. According to Gulbahar (2006), in classes where constructivist approaches are implemented, students have a chance of learning by doing, enhancing their critical skills and shaping their learning process by being active participants. Project-based learning is one of the methods grounded in constructivism.
themselves learn to gain more knowledge. When the learner gains more knowledge in the process of independent learning this would boost the learner’s confidence. Independent learning forces students to deal with both their strengths and weaknesses through the educational process. Students tend to analyze themselves during the learning process and is able to identify their positive skills and work to improve on their negative skills. Independent learning is mainly about self-direction which is a very important benefit to the learner as he or she has the freedom to choose what subject they want to study and the resources they would use to learn.