Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Constructivist/Constructionist Learning 

The constructivist theory says that individual learners construct mental models to understand the world around them. Ways the instructional strategies correlate with principal of constructivist/constructionist learning theories is by understanding how students learn.  

The best way to help students  learn is by having students construct their own knowledge instead of having someone construct it for them. Learning is an active process of creating meaning from different experiences. In other words, students will learn best by trying to make sense of something on their own with the teacher as a guide to help them along the way.

The instructional strategies are put in place aligned with the constructivist theory with this understanding, that all sensory input is organized by the person receiving the stimuli, it cannot always be directly transferred from the teacher to the student. This means that a teacher cannot "pour" information into a student's brain and always expect them to process it and apply it correctly later. 

With the constructivist theory saying that individual learners construct mental models, i feel the instructional strategies were built on by certain guidelines. It should be recognized that a person's prior knowledge may help or hurt the construction of meaning. People's prior knowledge comes from their past experiences, culture, and their environment. Generally prior knowledge is good, but sometimes misconceptions and wrong information can be a hindrance. Sometimes time must be spent correcting prior knowledge before new learning can occur.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cognitive learning theory and how it relates to instructional strategies

Constructivism theory  knowledge that argues that humans gain knowledge and meaning from an interaction between their experiences and their ideas. After viewing instructional strategies from the resources this week i found that instructors have to adapt to the role of facilitators and not teachers. A teacher is intended to give a lecture that covers the subject matter and help the learner to get to his or her own understanding of the content. Also, the learning environment should also be designed to support and challenge the learner's thinking. While it is recommended to give the learner ownership of the problem and solution process, it is not the case that any activity or any solution is acceptable. The critical goal is to support the learner in becoming an effective thinker. This can be achieved by assuming multiple roles, such as consultant and coach.The strategies listed above correlate with constructivism by helping the teacher accommodate the way students or humans gain knowledge. The strategies give the student the opportunity to learn the way they learn best.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Behavioralism in Today's Classroom

The behavior learning theory is an attempt to describe how people learn thereby helping us understand the inherently complex process of learning. (James, 1999) Learning theories have two chief values. One is in providing us with vocabulary and a conceptual framework for interpreting the examples of learning that we observe. The other is in suggesting where to look for solutions to practical problems. (James, 1992) The theories do not give us solutions, but they do direct our attention to those variables that are crucial in finding solutions.
The role this theory plays in the classroom is by giving the teacher a guide and different portals to relay the vocabulary and framework to the student. With the theory being used as a guideline teacher integrate different types of technology in their instruction to follow the theory. Different ways they integrate technology with regards to the theory is, for vocabulary have students use Spelling City ( to learn their spelling words, vocabulary words, or site words through games, practice, and quizzes. Spelling City is a free resource for teachers/students. Also, teachers can create a game show for their students to participate in as a review for an upcoming assessment.