Dynamic World

A student raised her hand. Gently interrupted me in my discussion. A student said the book wasn’t right. My experience was different from what the book stated, she added. This example can be a great manifestation that since knowledge is changing from time to time, it is really essential to apply constructivism in teaching. I said this for the following reasons:

Firstly, it gives the learners the sense of being part in the discussion as compared with the traditional teaching where they will just sit and listen. This is also one of the best way to get their attention, or rather I shall say student engagement. Getting student’s attention may be hard, but letting them part in the discussion can stimulate them and capture their interests.

Secondly, peer collaboration. As we know, there are students lacking knowledge or experience. Thus, this approach is very important so that the lacking of others can be supplied by those who are already in advance stage or much have more experience (MKO). Also, it will improve the interaction skills of the students.

Finally, in this course, I may have encountered various theories but I believe it is the time for our education to strive and make a shift to constructivism. There may be implications in teaching such as the curriculum may not be aligned to classroom discussion, but this can be correct with the guidance of the teacher. With the effective implementation, this concept could improve the learning of the students.

My experience with Constructivism

Children building blocks in kindergarten. Group kids playing toy floor. : Stock Photo

I am a 90’s kid. I started grade school 3 years before the third millennium. At this time period conventional teaching dominated most of the schools. There were development in the teaching profession in the nearby countries like Singapore, but not the Philippines. Development was sluggish.

Anyway, my purpose of this writing is not about to discuss the past statute of education in the Philippines. In this short article I will be shortly discussing my experience about constructivism. Like what I have said at the beginning of this essay, I was a 90’s kid and was taught in a traditional mantra – memorization, actively listened to discussion and acquired factual information from the teacher. I heavily encountered this from grade school until I graduated in secondary school.

A sudden change had occur when I enrolled in college. I had this specific teacher which the way of teaching was really new to me. It was quite bizarre, but I liked it. It captured my interest in learning. It had given me more sense of being part in the discussion. And the lessons were making sense because I constructed those from my own experience. I didn’t know that teaching had different forms until my professor discussed about “Constructivism”. In traditional teaching, a learner sit, listen, and acquire factual information. On the other hand, in constructivism the knowledge is constructed by the learner through an active mental process, and build and construct their own meaning and knowledge. This is done by incorporating knowledge to their previous experience.

Fast forward, I adapted constructivism when I became a teacher for roughly 2 years. Take this simple example. When I taught “Oral Communication” to my students, I didn’t just let them listen to me and acquire information. But instead, I let them joined the discussion for the entire class period. Questions were being asked like, how do you define communication? How communication affects your dealing with other people? How communication important in developing peace? Etc. I saw strengths in this approach because it enabled my students to be part in the discussion, it gave them the thought that their ideas matter, it gave a sense of teamwork, and most importantly, recollection of previous experiences.

Just like any other approach, constructivism has flaws. One of it is the learner’s experience. Students are not born equal. One may experience one thing that the other have not. This may cause a conflict in learning. This can be further discuss in the next article. Stay tune!

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