Constructivism & Articulation

Week 2 – Intro to Constructivism and Online Learning Discussion

I think my biggest revelation this week note was understanding that before instructional techniques can change, the goals of education need to change, and that these goals are ultimately defined via our assessment tools. If we don’t change the definition of success, than Sawyer’s argument that “memorisation of facts and procedures is not enough for success” (p. 4) is necessarily false. What this means for us in practice, and is very relevant to my current curricular renewal efforts at work, is that in order for us to succeed in our efforts to create a more active (constructivist) learning experience, we need to stop assessing based on an instructivist understanding of learning. This past week, I’ve been working on defining the performance indicators for students in order to start designing competence reports. My mind is constantly coming back to this discussion on measuring success, and this discussion has helped me identify potential gaps in our model. Another part of the discussion this week that has really resonated with me was on the challenges and benefits of student articulation and different approaches to it.

Discussions on both Messy Articulate and Student Expectations, have started me thinking about approaches to scaffolding independent learning among our students. Our students have very clearly articulated their expectations that the teacher’s role is to transmit knowledge, but I think we need to help coach them to understand that by helping them “gain a deeper conceptual understanding, they learn facts and procedures in a much more useful and profound way that transfers to real-world settings” (Sawyer, p.4). I’m actually quite excited to develop an activity that not only provides students with an opportunity to co-construct knowledge, but also to learn how to learn in a constructivist environment.

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