Psychological constructivism | Education

Commentonat least 3 Classmates’Posts (approximately  150 -300 words each)§
– comment must address the R2R prompt and your classmate’s response substantively; if you agree or disagree, provide reasoning and rational evidence from the readings to support your position
– build on the ideas of what your classmate has written and dig deeper into the ideas 
– support your views through research you have read or through your personal and/or professional experiences§demonstrate a logical progression of ideas 
– comments need to be thoughtful and substantive; not gratuitous comments like “this was a good post” or simply that “you agree”. Simply congratulating the writer on their astute insights is insufficient.
– cite the readings in your response by using proper APA Style format and conventions. 
Reply to a Comment(approximately 150 words)
– commentmust address the R2R prompt and your classmate’s response substantively; if you agree or disagree, provide reasoning and rational evidence from the readings to support your position
– build on the ideas of what your classmatehas writtenand dig deeper intothe ideas 
– support your views through research you have read or through your personal and/or professional experiences§demonstrate a logical progression of ideas 
-comments need to be thoughtful and substantive; not gratuitous comments like “this was a good post” or simply that “you agree”. Simply congratulating the writer on their astute insights is insufficient.
-cite the readings in your response by using proper APA Style format -and conventions
 Reply to a Comment
Hi ,
I enjoyed reading your post this week, your reflection of the reading was enlightening. You wrote “The theories are in tandem with my own idea about learning which maintains that the environment as well as past experiences are vital in the process of acquiring knowledge. Finally, these theories have impacted greatly on the process of learning since they provide opportunity for the teachers to come up with better tools and techniques for teaching.” I agree with your statement and also strive to incorporate more strategies from this weeks reading into my daily practice. One way I want to incorporate some things I have learned from this weeks reading is by encouraging students to share about their background; and ask parents to do the same that way I can incorporate these things into my lessons and activities. I want to focus on involving them when planning lessons and assessments also, so that they take ownership in their learning! T
Thank you again for sharing and have a great week!
classmate 1
When it comes to understanding learning, Piaget and Bruner had similar yet different views on learning. They were similar because they both believed that children are active participants in the process of learning. They also believed that learning was an active process in which learners construct new ideas or concepts based upon their current or past knowledge, and that the learner relies on a cognitive structure to do so. Piaget believed that the human capacity to think and to learn was an adaptive feature. (Phillips & Soltis. Pg. 41) Bruner also had the same beliefs. Where the differ on their thoughts of learning were; Piaget has insisted that all children everywhere in the world, go through the same developmental sequence (Phillips & Soltis. Pg. 47), and believe they happen in a series of stages. Bruner on the other hand, belied that learning develops in a continuous process. (The Learning Theory of Bruner vs. Piaget)
 With psychological constructivist, these researchers focus on how learning occurs in individuals and how internal cognitive or memory  or knowledge structures are built up or constructed.(Phillips & Soltis. Pg. 50)  They have the belief that individuals form or construct much of what they know to create their own learning. They also believe that knowledge is not imposed from outside people but formed inside of them and is based on their own beliefs and experiences in a situation which differ from person to person. Which is why a persons constructions are true to that person, but not necessarily to anyone else and this makes knowledge subjectable (Schunk, Pg. 229-231)
In schools, a constructivist classroom is one where the curriculum focuses on big concepts. The activities involve primary sources of data and they allow for manipulative materials. (Schunk, Pg.261)  Students work collaboratively in groups, and the teacher mostly facilitates so that students can form their own thoughts and ideas. The reading suggests that implanting a constructivist classroom can be challenging. I often find it very hard to just facilitate. I work with children who are mostly  below grade level and who already struggle academically. So I find myself doing more direct teaching than anything. We do have math task that I give where I just read a problem and the students are sent off to figure out the solution by themselves first, then if I see when I’m walking around that they have it, I will allow them to work with a partner. We then come back together and I choose students to share their work, rather correct or incorrect and explain to us how they got it. But this is just something that I do for certain math problems, not all and not very subject.
I do agree with pieces of this approach because children do need to be able to make meaning of their learning, and they should be able to effectively construct new knowledge and skills, but they can’t at this stage. With little children, I think they need to be taught how to do these things. And I think in my case, I need to be taught or make a serious conscious effort to teach like a constructivist. Because with the learning gaps, extreme behaviors, million tests and lack of decent curriculum, I find it hard to do in my class. But I am always open to suggestions. 🙂
Class mate 2
Jean Piaget’s approach rooted from his early biological training. As a trained biologist he knew “in living organisms, important functions are carried out by biological structures” (Phillips, & Soltis, 2009). Thereby, he studied and viewed learning in terms of the mental or cognitive structures that make it possible. His idea that a child constructs a schema or program personally and it all depends on his/her developmental stages is shown throughout his work and findings. Despite some critical issues like he didn’t explain why change occurs in the first place or how does the notion of accommodation occur if new learning is happening, or not considering social or cultural aspect of learning, his work did bring important findings in teaching, learning, and stages of development. A first development stage lasts from birth to age two (child constructs schema personally). The second stage preoperational (child solely conceptualizes with the mind) is from ages two to seven. The third is the concrete operation stage, from seven to eleven, that the child finally starts conceptualizing things. The final stage, the structures become close to those of the adults (Phillips, & Soltis, 2009). Lev Vygotsky believed Piagetian stages did not consider learning takes place in social settings. He invented the notion of the “zone of proximal development” that child’s performance is depended on the level of competence he can reach with aid. “ZPD is the difference between what children can do on their own and what they can do with assistance from others. Interactions with adults and peers in the ZPD promote cognitive development” (Schunk, 2012) Possibly the most significant implication of Vygotsky’s theory for education is that the cultural–historical context is relevant to all forms of learning because learning does not occur in isolation.
Further studies linked the importance of social aspects of learning rather than just biological aspects. In earlier studies “the learner is depicted as a lone investigator” but it was lacking the fact that learners by necessity belong to social groups (Phillips, & Soltis, 2009). As social creatures, we need social processes such as discussion, argument or debate, criticism, collaboration, and teamwork in learning. Moreover, our cultural group plays a part in this learning process. “Becoming human is becoming individual, and we become individual under the guidance of cultural patterns, historically created system of meaning in terms of which we give form, order, point, and direction to our lives” (Phillips, & Soltis, 2009).
The video of Dr. Bruner made me think about my thinking when I was a child and how I’m thinking now about acquiring knowledge. Most likely this thinking will evolve in the future with further studies. It was interesting he didn’t think of his work as revolutionary, but his approach did change our way of thinking toward learning. When I went to school individual’s thinking didn’t matter, all students had to learn what was being taught even if we didn’t see any relevance in what we were studying. Dr. Bruner’s theory suggests that learning is an active process in which learners construct new ideas or concepts based upon their current/past knowledge.
When I was teaching fourth grade, I noticed when students were learning long division, it really helped to self-verbalize the algorithm. There is a song about the long division algorithm, we all sang together. Later students were able to sing it to themselves to remember how to do long divisions. I really like the approach of private speech or think aloud (Schunk, 2012). I think it does not matter our age everyone can benefit from verbalizing while encountering a problem or learning a new concept. However, I realize some children may not be able to verbalize, but with the help of their teachers (scaffolding) they can learn how to express their thinking in different ways. Presently, I’m working for Rochester adult education and part of our department is GED and high school completion. I’ve noticed the main reason the students are there is because they have had difficult personal experiences and that has resulted in not completing high school. In our readings, Schunk mentioned “Apprenticeships are used in many areas of education” On-the-job training programs use the apprentice model as students acquire skills while in the actual work setting and interacting with others. There is much emphasis on expanding youth apprenticeships, especially for non–college-bound adolescents (Schunk, 2012). Proudly, our school has adopted apprenticeships to aid our GED and high school completion students to find the right career pathway for them regardless of their challenging personal lives.
classmate 3
Both Piaget and Bruner like true Constructivist were interested in how learning actually occurred and not just rather or not an objective was achieved. They both also believe that the environment is key to understanding how people learn. Piaget’s theories were really grounded in human development. Piaget believed that learning depended on both the environment and mental development were determinants into what could be learned and when. Those kinds of guidelines exist for a reason but they should not restrict where students can ultimately achieve. Bruner like other Constructivists believed children were always learning and developing and not a blank slate when born.
Scaffolding is a word that educational leaders and coaches mention all the time, especially when teaching students who are not on grade level. At timesI find it to be an easy escape route for administrators to make it seems easy to get over huge achievement gaps. The concept, though, that in order to teach someone a concept they have to be exposed to it and have the necessary prior skills. Complicated tasks can be accomplished yes, but those background skills or cognitive structure have to be developed so the brain is able to process the required information.
Schunk believed that students create their own learning and create their own knowledge. The example in the text of the girl trying to find the weight of a washer shows that. What is missing is that there were necessary skills that needed to be taught before this student could create her own knowledge. She has to be taught how the scale actually worked for example. While those prerequisites are necessary the exercise in the text is important. Students need to explore and find things out on their own. Experiences where students get to accomplish a task and show what they learned are extremely valuable parts of a student’s education.
One of my goals has a new teacher is to find more ways in my social studies classroom for students to do things. One thing I liked about the Schunk reading is where the text talks about how Marshall gives his students experiences. “he builds into the
curriculum strategies to enhance interest. He makes use of films, field trips, and class
reenactments of historical events to link history better with real-world experiences.” Coming up with engaging activities can be difficult. It’s good to know that playing movies and going on field trips can “count.” It made me think of what movies I can use to help make my 7th Grade World Studies class more interesting to my students.

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