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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?

How do 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 learning.

  • 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' organization.

  • 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 assessment strategies.

  • 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

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