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How do I apply constructivism in my classroom?
What are some simple ways to get started?
What are some challenges I may face?
How do I assess student progress?
How does constructivism align with state and national standards?
How does technology complement constructivism?
How do I work with my school, the parents, and the community?

What are some of the challenges I may face?

You will be challenged in several areas:

1. Your role as a teacher will change.

  • Giving up the "expert" role to become more of a facilitator can be very difficult for some teachers. Practice will help.
  • You must become a questioner of students to find out how they are learning as well as what they have learned.
  • You will probably have to commit to some study and discussion to strengthen the foundation of your constructivist learning philosophy.
  • The noise level in your classroom as your students discuss and question more may drive you crazy at first.

2. Your students' roles will change. (It may take time to change long-formed habits.) Ideally,

  • They will come to understand that multiple answers are expected of them and that they will be challenged to document and defend their thinking. They will also come to understand that changing one's mind is acceptable and part of growth and learning.
  • They will develop hypotheses and test their knowledge by presenting it and working on it with others.
  • They will begin to take an active part in their own assessment of their knowledge and in the assessment of the learning situation.

3. You will face institutional challenges.

  • The constructivist learning environment has an order and structure that is often missed by the casual observer. The institution must engage in continual analysis of what is going on and how it can effectively communicate the educational approach to the community.
  • Administration/teacher relationships must shift from supervision and control to guidance and support.
  • Assessment has probably always been built on standardized measurement. Constructivism calls for a reconsideration of evaluation and grading procedures. This will take more time and effort on your part. There may be resistance from parents, the community, and even the students.

Workshop: Constructivism as a Paradigm for Teaching and Learning
Explanation | Demonstration | Exploration | Implementation | Get Credit

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Thirteen | Thirteen Ed Online | thirteencelebration.org

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