Constructivist learning is a method whereby learners are allowed to ‘construct’ their own comprehension, instead of it being imposed on or delivered to them. They use their previous experiences to build comprehension that is sensible to them. New knowledge is highly dependent upon previous comprehension, and it is translated in regards to present comprehension; as opposed to initially being secluded information which is thereafter associated with knowledge that is already in existence (Kirschner, Sweller & Clark, 2006).
Constructivist learning is reinforced by social interactions, which motivate the learners to express their thoughts and to process their comprehension by likening them with those of their interactions.
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One importance of constructivist learning is the authentic learning duties which make learning more meaningful. These tasks are demand that the learners get involved in thinking similar to that of being outside the classroom. Most theoretical and impractical notions become more realistic when they are integrated into authentic tasks (Green & Gredler, 2002).
The center of attention in this method of teaching, and learning, is on clarifications and solutions to queries or problems. The clarifications and solutions are provided by the students and not the teacher, and they originate from representation of subject matter and social relations. The instructor assists the students in the construction of knowledge by providing guidance to the social relations and the subject matter representation.
According to Ben-Ari (2001), s uch lessons provide the students with a problem that is the central point for the lesson. The students are vibrant in their group as well as the general class discussions. They have the independence to be in charge of their own work and work on their own. Whatever understanding they acquire is sensible to them, and it is also applicable in their daily living. These lessons are inherently motivating because they arouse curiosity and maintain the learners’ vibrancy, making them autonomous and in charge of what they learn. This boosts motivation which is a major factor in children acquiring more knowledge.
Constructivism learning and teaching has its advantages. It is a preferred technique for practical students who have a better chance of grasping concepts while in an environment that is hands-on as opposed to a classroom. This curriculum also takes care of previously acquired knowledge and is a motivator for instructors to invest time on the learner’s best subjects and also lets the teacher focus on relevant and pertinent information. Students are able to develop social skills because of the social interactions, leverage each other’s learning journey and appreciate each other’s differences and input (Kirschner, Sweller & Clark, 2006).
The limitation to this kind of learning is that it is not entirely effective on its own because students mostly need structuring and examples for more effective learning. It is also not standardized and thus requires lots of dynamism and evolution by the teacher which can be a lot of work.
On the other hand, explicit learning furnishes the teacher with the leading role. The teacher is in charge of spelling out, prototyping, and of opening chances for application with feedback. Explicit learning aims at comprehending, the rationale for dexterity, automation, this is where skills acquired over time are used automatically with minimal effort, what has been previously learned is brought out and utilized when necessary.
In explicit instruction, the teacher ‘owns’ the classroom and the student rarely interrupts the instructor’s management style. The teacher preserves a strong educational focus while utilizing available educational resources thoroughly to start-off and ease the learners’ learning process. The teacher strives to make sure that most learners attain sound educational progress by meticulously selecting befitting tasks, precisely presenting content and results’ policies (Alfieri, Brooks, Aldrich & Tenenbaum, 2011).
Explicit instruction is quite productive when specific subject-matter and skills are what the instructor is chiefly aiming for. The teacher’s main responsibility of sculpting attitudes, expertise and conduct is one of the extremely efficient conduits for passing on these types of outlooks and skills.
According to Ben-Ari (2001), p reparation for the instructions of skills involves the procedure of analyzing tasks. The instructor is clarifies the expected final behavior, recognizes the required skills, prearranges sub skills and identifies students’ weaknesses. The instructor is also tasked with providing myriad chances for learner feedback and practice.
An advantage of explicit instruction is that it teaches content that learners would not have otherwise discovered. It is helpful not only when discovery is next to impossible, but also when discovery may be imprecise, insufficient or inefficient.
A limitation of explicit learning is that it can be so stiff that it can stand I the way of the teacher’s creativity. This technique leaves very little room for improvisations since it follows a predetermined step-by-by procedure ( Kroesbergen, Van Luit & Maas, 2004).
Of the two learning styles, explicit and constructivist, the method through which I learned how to read was explicit. Back then, if I had to choose between the two, I would have chosen constructivism. The pragmatic nature of this technique of learning is impressive, and I feel that by it, learning would have made more sense for me (Alfieri et al., 2011).
From the point of view of a teacher, however, both approaches make sense for me. The practical approach of constructivism is admirable while the structured nature of the explicit style would make constructivism more standardized.
For example, different students’ posse’s different learning needs; their background knowledge has different effects on what they learn. In order to assist these students, the skills of more able students can be utilized in training the weaker students through peer tutoring. This can be done via cooperative educational groups designed strategically by the teachers. In these groups knowledgeable members can explain and pass on missing concepts and skills to the other less knowledgeable members. The teacher will then monitor the progress in these groups and, if the need arises, re-teach what has been learnt in this group as a way of reinforcing acquired knowledge. This is a way of applying both constructivism and explicit instructions. Constructivism is seen since the peer groups enforce autonomy and social interactions while the instructor’s hand in selecting how peer groups are formed and re-teaching subjects is explicit learning ( Kroesbergen, Van Luit & Maas, 2004).
The use of neo technology, such as computer programs, can enhance the effectiveness of constructivism and explicit learning creatively. These techniques can be used to target specific subject-matter and skills without taking anything away from class time.
Alfieri, L., Brooks, P. J., Aldrich, N. J., & Tenenbaum, H. R. (2011). Does discovery-based instruction enhance learning? Journal of Educational Psychology, 103 (1), 1-18.
Ben-Ari, M. (2001). Constructivism in computer science education. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching , 20 (1), 45-74.
Green, S. K., & Gredler, M. E. (2002). A review and analysis of constructivism for school-based practice. School Psychology Review , 31 (1), 53.
Kirschner, P. A., Sweller, J., & Clark, R. E. (2006). Why minimal guidance during instruction does not work: An analysis of the failure of constructivist, discovery, problem-based, experiential, and inquiry-based teaching. Educational psychologist , 41 (2), 75-86.
Kroesbergen, E. H., Van Luit, J. E., & Maas, C. J. (2004). Effectiveness of explicit and constructivist mathematics instruction for low-achieving students in the Netherlands. The Elementary School Journal , 104 (3), 233-251.