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Three Constructivist Design Models
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Three Constructivist Design Models



1. The Learning Cycle is a three-step design that can be used as a general framework for many kinds of constructivist activities.

The Learning Cycle is a time-honored model of the learning process that was first used in science education. The process begins with the "discovery" phase. In it, the teacher encourages students to generate questions and hypotheses from working with various materials. Next, the teacher provides "concept introduction" lessons. Here the teacher focuses the students' questions and helps them create hypotheses and design experiments. In the third step, "concept application," students work on new problems that reconsider the concepts studied in the first two steps. You may find this cycle repeating many times throughout a lesson or unit.

2. Another constructivist learning design was developed by George W. Gagnon. Jr., and Michelle Collay.

In this model, teachers implement a number of steps in their teaching structure. They:

  • develop a situation for students to explain
  • select a process for groupings of materials and students
  • build a bridge between what students already know and what the teachers want them to learn
  • anticipate questions to ask and answer without giving away an explanation
  • encourage students to exhibit a record of their thinking by sharing it with others, and
  • solicit students' reflections about their learning.
3. Robert O. McClintock 1 and John B. Black 2 of Columbia University Teachers College derived yet another design model from several computer technology-supported learning environments at the Dalton School in New York.

The Information Construction (ICON) model contains seven stages:

1. Observation: Students make observations of primary source materials embedded in their natural context or simulations thereof.

2. Interpretation Construction: Students interpret their observations and explain their reasoning.

3. Contextualization: Students construct contexts for their explanations.

4. Cognitive Apprenticeship: Teachers help student apprentices master observation, interpretation, and contextualization.

5. Collaboration: Students collaborate in observation, interpretation, and contextualization.

6. Multiple Interpretations: Students gain cognitive flexibility by being exposed to multiple interpretations from other students and from expert examples.

7. Multiple Manifestations: Students gain transferability by seeing multiple manifestations of the same interpretations.
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Workshop: Constructivism as a Paradigm for Teaching and Learning
Explanation | Demonstration | Exploration | Implementation

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