do I apply constructivism in my classroom?
are some simple ways to get started?
are some challenges I may face?
do I assess student progress?
does constructivism align with state and national standards?
does technology complement constructivism?
do I work with my school, the parents, and the community?
I work with my school, the parents, and the community?
Adopting a constructivist pedagogy encourages every member of a community to become a learner.
Here are some tips for building support for the constructivist
paradigm in your classroom.
- Enlist support from administrators and supervisors early.
Keep people informed about any initiatives designed to enhance
- Engage administrators and supervisors in school-based study
groups focused on human developmental principles.
- Find ways (knowledge demonstrations, narrative assessments,
hands-on workshops with parents) to share with the public
the many ways learning is taking place.
- Build relationships with colleagues in other disciplines.
This is a critical component of any interdisciplinary project.
Constructivist learning is inherently interdisciplinary. Broad,
interdisciplinary units are more likely to focus on the big
questions that bring relevance to students' knowledge constructions.
- Look for curricular overlap. If your educational community
works on curriculum maps,
1 consult them
to find opportunities for engaging your colleagues.
- Bring in outside speakers and guest lecturers. You and other
teachers will need the support of outside experts. While resources
abound, we suggest you plan periodic seminars on teaching
and learning for administrators and school board members.
A good source of support for this might be your local teachers'
- There are several active consultants and educators (many
are on our Resource list) who would be willing to help you
organize seminars. Your curriculum director may also know
of experts who can help with the setting up of constructivist
classrooms, teacher discussion and support groups, and appropriate
- Get the word out. Use school newspapers, the school P.A.
system, and library bulletin-boards to communicate the excitement
of learning in the constructivist classroom. Send notes to
parents and guardians. Inform them about the nature of your
work with their children. Invite them to participate at appropriate
times. Engage them.
- Set aside special time for student presentations of projects
and performances. As students take greater ownership of their
learning, they become ready to share their knowledge-constructing
ability more publicly; they rise to the occasion.
- As we suggested in the Multiple Intelligences Workshop,
start small. Begin by informally inviting colleagues to your
classes, and scale up to include school-wide assemblies, invitations
to parents and other guests, and community events. Successful
projects tend to garner administrative support and parental
involvement and often acquire a momentum of their own.
Workshop: Constructivism as a Paradigm for Teaching and Learning
Explanation | Demonstration | Exploration | Implementation | Get Credit
Concept to Classroom | About the Series | Resources | Sitemap | Credits
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