Of the many psychological theories out there, Constructivism is one which is embodied by new educational practice. Jean Piaget was a philosopher originating from Switzerland who proposed the theory of constructivism as something which influences conceptual growth. This theory works by incorporating a unique learning process whereby a student will gain their own conclusions as a result of the creative aid of the teacher.
Instead of the current model where teachers provide answers and solutions to problems, the new model would focus on teachers acting as facilitators instead. Teaching would be by the means of guiding students to solve problems, with monitoring by the teacher. This encourages critical thinking and allows students to make mistakes in the process of finding the right answer.
A typical day in school would involve teachers posing open-ended questions before leaving time in between to allow the students to think, analyse and find a solution. Such open-ended questions do not limit students imagination to the “4 possible answers” in multiple choice questions. It’ll allow students to collaborate through discussion, debates and project work.
One obvious benefit of this system is that it is not only catered to students who are strong in academics. It has the potential to cater to a much wider range of learning abilities and styles as students are no longer confined to reading books to obtain information and answers. Those who learn better through hands-on learning could easily replicate a physics question on the law of motion.
Overall, applying such a learning method in the classroom will enable students to discover their intellectual identity, it shifts the focus on learning from teacher to student and allow them to take responsibility for their learning.
Encouraging Independent Learning
Independent learning is a form of individualized study whereby students come up with their own solutions and take action steps with very little guidance from a teacher. There are many benefits to be had from independent learning. Students who practice it often enjoy a myriad of benefits including improved workplace or personal performance, improved motivation and confidence, and a greater ability to manage limitations.
The key ingredient to successful learning for students is the ability for students to shift responsibility away from others and onto their shoulders. This means that students need to understand their learning, be motivated to learn and to collaborate.
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