I have always liked this quote! I think that it puts learning in prospective. Everyone knows something I do not and I can learn from them. I also think that this quote applies to constructivism in education.
The article How Constructivist Are We? Representation of Transmission and Participatory Models of Instruction in the Journal of College Science Teaching, by William Straits and Russell Wilke, talks about the benefits of the constructivist learning theory.
— #teachergoals (@teachergoals) October 16, 2017
What is Constructivism?
The article’s definition of constructivism is: “Constructivism contends that each of us makes sense of our world by connecting new experiences to our existing understandings. Learners, as they encounter new situations, attempt to meld incoming information with their existing understandings.” Meaning, students come into the classroom with prior knowledge and to learn they need to connect prior knowledge with new knowledge. It is our jobs as teachers foster this connection of old and new knowledge. The combination of this is how students truly learn.
How is Constructivism Created in the Classroom?
Straits and Wilke said, “For social constructivists, a learner’s environment, the people in it, and the words they use help shape an individual’s understanding; the creation of meaning is not purely individual, but to a large extent shared.” This is why constructivism is and collaboration so important to use in the classroom. This shows how important others are to ones learning. Every student has had different experiences that can help others learn.
The table below is from the article and does a great job in showing how to foster learning in the classroom using the constructivist theory.
Theories of Teaching:
Straits and Wilke talk about two different theories of teaching: transmission and participatory.
Transmission is a teaching theory that believes that the teacher has the knowledge and will transmit the knowledge to the student. There is no questioning the teachers knowledge. The students are expected to understand the spew of information the teacher is throwing at them. This is done primarily through lecturing.
Participatory is a teaching theory that is believes is student collaboration and student centered learning. It is about using prior knowledge build new understanding of material. The teacher is a guide throughout the process and the students are able to question the world around them.
Overall, I think that using constructivism in the classroom is beneficial to the students learning. Students are able to learn from other students in a collaborative way. They depend on their prior knowledge to form new ideas.
— Lynsy Curry (@mrscurry_RPE) October 19, 2017
Straits, W., Wilke, R. (n.d.) How Constructivist Are We? Representations of Transmission and Participatory Models of Instruction in the Journal of College Science Teaching. Research and Teaching.