Piaget Essay

1033 words - 5 pages

Constructivism: A Holistic Approach 
to Teaching and Learning
Janet Giesen
Faculty Development and 
Instructional Design Center
Northern Illinois University

• Your name
• Your department or unit
• Your experiences or knowledge of 
• Why have you joined us today?

• Learning cycle
• Constructivism
– Learning theory
– Process
– Instructional strategy

• Classroom applications
• Instructor and student roles

Learning Cycle or “5 E’s”





How would you define constructivism?

A definition of constructivism
Fundamentally, constructivism says that 
people construct their own understanding and  ...view middle of the document...

 Process is as important 
as product

Knowledge is inert

Knowledge is dynamic / changes with 

Students work individually

Students work in groups
Thirteen Ed Online (2004).

Constructivism is an 
instructional strategy
• Involves collaboration between instructors, 
students and others (community members)
• Tailored to needs and purposes of individual 
• Features active, challenging, authentic and 
multidisciplinary learning

Source: Christie (2005)

Constructivism is an 
instructional strategy
• Constructivism can help students
– Pursue personal interests and purposes
– Use and develop his or her abilities
– Build on his or her prior knowledge and 
– Develop life‐long learning

Source: Christie (2005)

Constructivism is an 
instructional strategy
• Constructivism encourages instructors to 
provide for each student’s
– Preferred learning style
– Rate of learning
– Personal interactions with other learners

Source: Christie (2005)

Applying constructivism in the classroom
• Pose problems that are or will be relevant to 
• Structure learning around essential concepts
• Be aware that students’ points of view are 
windows into their reasoning

Source:  Thirteen Ed Online, 2004

Applying constructivism in the classroom
• Adapt teaching to address students’ 
suppositions and development
• Assess student learning in context of 

Source:  Thirteen Ed Online, 2004

Implementing constructivism 
in an online setting
• Individuality and choice in practical tasks; 
negotiated report titles
• Practical tasks use Internet to create Web 
pages, concept maps, etc.
• Videos replace (some) lectures
• Exams replaced by reports on issue or 
research on Internet resources
• Work in pairs, groups – Blackboard supported

Student‐centered vs. instructor dominated learning environment


Facilitator of knowledge

Adaptive learner



Developer of instruction

Co‐developer of goals and objectives

Reflective instructor

Knowledge seeker

Discovery facilitator

Knowledge creator

Negotiator of knowledge

Reflective learner

Team member

Learning through discovery

Information receiver

Negotiator of knowledge

Coach / facilitator

Team member
Active learner
Responsible learner
Mediate own learning

Constructivism summary...

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