Students come from all kinds of different backgrounds. They all have different experiences that have shaped who they are. The students bring these into your classroom. Teaching with a constructivist mindset means that educators know that student past experiences have shaped them into who they are today…
Sir Ken Robinson had a great TEDtalk in which he describes his experiences with coming over to American and immersing himself in our education system. He gives us an interesting perspective on our education system because of the experiences he has had.
Sir Ken Robinson in this video is an example of constructivism. He has used his knowledge of the British education system, and outside knowledge to explain the issues with the No Child Left Behind Act. He is using is prior knowledge to problem solve and think critically, and most of all attempt to explain a huge problem with our education system. Robinson’s talk her gives us insight into constructivism and new ways at looking at our education system, while also being an example of constructivism itself.
Our experiences shapes our interests. Our interests shape our curiosity. Curiosity is what fuels learning. So in turn our experiences fuel our learning. This is why teaching like a constructivist is so important. Students will not be interested in certain things if it does not adhere to their interests. They can become disengaged and lose all desire and willingness to learn. This is why we, as educators, need to implement constructivism into our classrooms and tailor our lessons and activities to be relatable. When students can relate to information to what they are interested in, it is more likely to stick with them.
Here is a funny, but wonderful example of constructivism in action from the NBC show The Office. In this we see the character Kevin Malone attempting to do complicated math in his head. We can see that when the math involves something Kevin likes and is interested in (pies) he is far more proficient at doing the math than when it involves salads. This is a comical example of how we are able to complete tasks and retain knowledge more effectively when it is presented in a way that we become engaged in. And this concept is the essence of constructivism.
Here is a link to my twitter account where I will be posting other science education related blogs. https://twitter.com/MrRadford_Sci