constructivism 
Author Message
 constructivism

Hi Bill,

Quote:
> I'm wondering how we can distinguish between good
> and bad constructivism

Just a couple thoughts. Maybe it goes bad when we put the "ism" on the end
of the word. Then it becomes political and no longer in the interest of the
learner. I prefer the term "constructivist" as a way to describe a way of
learning. Constructivism strikes me more as a belief in a way of teaching,
and that's not what constructivist learning is about.

The criticisms described in the descriptions of the books you mentioned seem
to have long been used to argue against any prevailing "ism" haven't they?
There's no reason why constructivism should be immune.

I do think one thing is for sure. No matter what people choose to call it,
learners use constructivist approaches (and others) to help them formulate
their worldviews. Teachers can choose to ignore this fact but they do so at
their peril.

By the way, does anyone know who coined the terms, constructivist or
constructivism?

Good to hear from you.

Tom

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Fri, 14 May 2004 21:21:00 GMT  
 constructivism

Quote:

> By the way, does anyone know who coined the terms, constructivist or
> constructivism?

I thought it was Piaget, some of Papert's references to Piaget make it seem so, but according to this account from

http://tip.psychology.org/bruner.html, it was J. Bruner:

--Carol

Constructivist Theory

(J. Bruner)

Overview:

A major theme in the theoretical framework of Bruner is that learning is
an active process in which learners construct new ideas or concepts
based upon their current/past knowledge. The learner selects and
transforms information, constructs hypotheses, and makes decisions,
relying on a cognitive structure to do so. Cognitive structure (i.e.,
schema, mental models) provides meaning and organization to experiences
and allows the individual to "go beyond the information given".

As far as instruction is concerned, the instructor should try and
encourage students to discover principles by themselves. The instructor
and student should engage in an active dialog (i.e., socratic learning).
The task of the instructor is to translate information to be learned
into a format appropriate to the learner's current state of
understanding. Curriculum should be organized in a spiral manner so that
the student continually builds upon what they have already learned.

Bruner (1966) states that a theory of instruction should address four
major aspects: (1) predisposition towards learning, (2) the ways in
which a body of knowledge can be structured so that it can be most
readily grasped by the learner, (3) the most effective sequences in
which to present material, and (4) the nature and pacing of rewards and
punishments. Good methods for structuring knowledge should result in
simplifying, generating new propositions, and increasing the
manipulation of information.

In his more recent work, Bruner (1986, 1990) has expanded his
theoretical framework to encompass the social and cultural aspects of
learning.

Scope/Application:

Bruner's constructivist theory is a general framework for instruction
based upon the study of cognition. Much of the theory is linked to child
development research (especially Piaget ). The ideas outlined in Bruner
(1960) originated from a conference focused on science and math
learning. Bruner illustrated his theory in the context of mathematics
and social science programs for young children (see Bruner, 1973). The
original development of the framework for reasoning processes is
described in Bruner, Goodnow & Austin (1951). Bruner (1983) focuses on
language learning in young children.

Note that Constructivism is a very broad conceptual framework in
philosophy and science and Bruner's theory represents one particular
perspective. For an overview of other Constructivist frameworks, see
http://www.cudenver.edu/~mryder/itc_data/constructivism.html or
http://www.mcgill.ca/douglas/fdg/kjf/17-TAGLA.htm.

Example:

This example is taken from Bruner (1973):

"The concept of prime numbers appears to be more readily grasped when
the child, through construction, discovers that certain handfuls of
beans cannot be laid out in completed rows and columns. Such quantities
have either to be laid out in a single file or in an incomplete
row-column design in which there is always one extra or one too few to
fill the pattern. These patterns, the child learns, happen to be called
prime. It is easy for the child to go from this step to the recognition
that a multiple table , so called, is a record sheet of quantities in
completed mutiple rows and columns. Here is factoring, multiplication
and primes in a construction that can be visualized."

Principles:

1. Instruction must be concerned with the experiences and contexts that
make the student willing and able to learn (readiness).

2. Instruction must be structured so that it can be easily grasped by
the student (spiral organization).

3. Instruction should be designed to facilitate extrapolation and or
fill in the gaps (going beyond the information given).



Sat, 15 May 2004 10:08:52 GMT  
 constructivism


Quote:

> > By the way, does anyone know who coined the terms, constructivist or
> > constructivism?

> I thought it was Piaget, some of Papert's references to Piaget make it

seem so, but according to this account from

Quote:
> http://tip.psychology.org/bruner.html, it was J. Bruner:

Margaret Bodwsen's biography of Piaget says:

"Piaget ... sometimes refers to his position as 'dialectic constructionism'
(5) ...

" .... his view is that knowledge and learning are no so much discovery as
construction: the active creation of novel structures that did not
previously exist -- either in the world or in the mind" (7)

Her reference is to "Biology and Knowledge" by Piaget, first published in
1967 (Piaget died in 1980).

The Bruner overview is interesting. Bruner sounds more interested in using
the insights of constructivism to improve instruction in the form of a
structured curriculum than Papert would be.

-- Bill Kerr

Quote:

> --Carol

> Constructivist Theory

> (J. Bruner)

> Overview:

> A major theme in the theoretical framework of Bruner is that learning is
> an active process in which learners construct new ideas or concepts
> based upon their current/past knowledge. The learner selects and
> transforms information, constructs hypotheses, and makes decisions,
> relying on a cognitive structure to do so. Cognitive structure (i.e.,
> schema, mental models) provides meaning and organization to experiences
> and allows the individual to "go beyond the information given".

> As far as instruction is concerned, the instructor should try and
> encourage students to discover principles by themselves. The instructor
> and student should engage in an active dialog (i.e., socratic learning).
> The task of the instructor is to translate information to be learned
> into a format appropriate to the learner's current state of
> understanding. Curriculum should be organized in a spiral manner so that
> the student continually builds upon what they have already learned.

> Bruner (1966) states that a theory of instruction should address four
> major aspects: (1) predisposition towards learning, (2) the ways in
> which a body of knowledge can be structured so that it can be most
> readily grasped by the learner, (3) the most effective sequences in
> which to present material, and (4) the nature and pacing of rewards and
> punishments. Good methods for structuring knowledge should result in
> simplifying, generating new propositions, and increasing the
> manipulation of information.

> In his more recent work, Bruner (1986, 1990) has expanded his
> theoretical framework to encompass the social and cultural aspects of
> learning.

> Scope/Application:

> Bruner's constructivist theory is a general framework for instruction
> based upon the study of cognition. Much of the theory is linked to child
> development research (especially Piaget ). The ideas outlined in Bruner
> (1960) originated from a conference focused on science and math
> learning. Bruner illustrated his theory in the context of mathematics
> and social science programs for young children (see Bruner, 1973). The
> original development of the framework for reasoning processes is
> described in Bruner, Goodnow & Austin (1951). Bruner (1983) focuses on
> language learning in young children.

> Note that Constructivism is a very broad conceptual framework in
> philosophy and science and Bruner's theory represents one particular
> perspective. For an overview of other Constructivist frameworks, see
> http://www.cudenver.edu/~mryder/itc_data/constructivism.html or
> http://www.mcgill.ca/douglas/fdg/kjf/17-TAGLA.htm.

> Example:

> This example is taken from Bruner (1973):

> "The concept of prime numbers appears to be more readily grasped when
> the child, through construction, discovers that certain handfuls of
> beans cannot be laid out in completed rows and columns. Such quantities
> have either to be laid out in a single file or in an incomplete
> row-column design in which there is always one extra or one too few to
> fill the pattern. These patterns, the child learns, happen to be called
> prime. It is easy for the child to go from this step to the recognition
> that a multiple table , so called, is a record sheet of quantities in
> completed mutiple rows and columns. Here is factoring, multiplication
> and primes in a construction that can be visualized."

> Principles:

> 1. Instruction must be concerned with the experiences and contexts that
> make the student willing and able to learn (readiness).

> 2. Instruction must be structured so that it can be easily grasped by
> the student (spiral organization).

> 3. Instruction should be designed to facilitate extrapolation and or
> fill in the gaps (going beyond the information given).



Sat, 15 May 2004 03:19:21 GMT  
 
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