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Learning Theories Paper - Essay Example

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This theory proposes that learning is greatly enhanced if a student is enabled or allowed to experience the environment and…
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Learning Theories Paper
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Constructivism: Impact on the Out of the various learning theories put forward and practiced by educationists around the world, the constructivist theory is the most interactive. This theory proposes that learning is greatly enhanced if a student is enabled or allowed to experience the environment and construct basic building blocks of knowledge as a result of his/her curiosity. These building blocks which the theory terms as ‘constructs’ are then strengthened and further enhanced, with the instructor/teacher acting as a facilitator in asking questions which help this process.
The constructivist theory allows for a more dynamic role on the part of the learner by engaging him/her actively to analyze, conceptualize and synthesize the current objective in light of the previous knowledge by forming constructs. A constructivist classroom is a dynamic and ‘happening’ place where most of the learning process is carried out by the students themselves, with the teacher merely facilitating by putting forth queries that keep up a healthy classroom discussion. The teacher always makes the students recall any previous knowledge they might have, and shares the learning objective to be achieved. Student input is invited as to how the object might be achieved by following certain success criteria. The query put across to the class is ‘This is what we’ll learn today; how do you think we might go
about learning it?’ Active participation from all members of the class, individually as well as in groups, enables the class to reach a conclusive construct regarding the learning objective at hand. Group formation not only instils the value of teamwork in the class, it also reinforces respect for a differentiated working environment having students belonging to various academic, social and cultural backgrounds. The teacher always bears in mind that individual student’s faith and background has a significant effect on the extent of their learning capability and subtly tries to maximize it. He encourages each student to give their response and ask questions, however insignificant they might seem, hence facilitating the emotional fulfilment of the class
The constructivist theory impacts the students positively. Repeated application of constructivism enables the student to acquire knowledge that is multidimensional while transforming them into confident, original, responsible and creative individuals. The teacher looks out for misconceptions which are evident as a result of discussion and guides the students in the right direction of questioning. In this way students learn not only the current objective at hand, but also learn analytical and problem solving skills to be applied outside the classroom as well. A constructivist classroom asks for active participation from all students in analysis, conceptualization and synthesis as well as in class arrangement and aesthetic class decor related to the learning objective. For example, in case of a language class teaching ‘Synonyms’ the students can prepare their own Synonym Tree to be displayed at the board and appreciated. This strategy performs the dual function of making the students aware of the effect they can have on their environment while engaging the auditory, visual and verbal cognitive techniques of learning. Constructivism makes use of all the available facilities for learning with a manifold resultant experience.
Fosnot, C T. “Constructivism: A Psychological Theory of Learning.” Constructivism Theory Perspectives and Practice. Ed. C T Fosnot. Teachers College Press, 1996. 8-33. Read More
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