Earlier this week, I took an Education Philosophy Quiz. This quiz is made up of multiple questions with answer worth an assigned number of points (Sadker & Sadker, 2018) . My results were not surprising at all. The following statements best reflect my views on education:
- Education should be a responsibility of the family and community rather than delegated to formal and impersonal institutions, such as schools.
- Students should be active participants in the learning process, involved in democratic class decision making and reflective thinking.
- The gap between the real world and schools should be bridge through field trips, internships, and adult mentors.
Each item above definitely shows that I value the learning, the development of all students, and the ideas that everyone can learn if given the right environment and facilitators. I grew up in a very controlled setting at home and did not have much choice or the ability to voice my preferences in the classroom. my parents views of almost everything was completely opposite of my own.
Even in college, I was not given the choice to decide what and how my learning would look but once I did, I greatly excelled. As I grew older, I realized that I had the power within to really tap into learning the way I learn best: independently, visually, and kinesthetically. Now that I’ve been teaching almost twenty years, I see within myself and my most recent students that they constructivism theory is one I believe in and, for me, is the KEY to great learning.
Constructivism learning theory says there is minimal teacher guidance, an abundance of classroom resources, minimal memorization and learning of laws & foundations (Davis 2009). This theory leans more toward emphasizing skills rather than content and allows students to focus on discover solutions rather than being shown solutions already discovered by others Davis 2009).
Kirschner, Sweller and Clark (2006) are correct, however, in Why Minimal Guidance During Instruction Does Not Work: An Analysis of the Failure of Constructivist, Discovery, Problem-Based, Experiential, and Inquiry-Based Teaching stating that novice learners need substantial guidance in the constructivist classroom. I experienced this with my younger students and observed my more mature, older students were more inquisitive and able to take a more central role in their instruction. For this reason, my student technology leadership team is only open to sophomores, juniors and seniors.
From my own experience with my new student leadership team, learning through experiences has a very powerful place in the classroom. These students have shown that given the right environment, facilitating and room to explore they can meet and surpass the typical learning objectives (McGathey 2018).
Davis, Nina. (2009). The Constructivist Theory – Yeah so, what’s that? The Theory Explained!. Nina’s Arena-Teaching & Learning in the Australian primary classroom. Available at: https://ninadavis.me/2009/07/08/the-constructivist-theory-yeah-so-whats-that-the-theory-explained/. Accessed June 10, 2018.References
Driscoll M. How People Learn (and What Technology Might Have To Do with It). Eric Digests. 2002:2-8. Available at: https://www.ericdigests.org/2003-3/learn.htm. Accessed June 10, 2018.
Driscoll, M., & Martin, B. (1984). Instructional Theories. Retrieved from https://libproxy.library.unt.edu:4060/doi/abs/10.1002/pfi.4150230602. Accessed June 10, 2018.
McGathey, L. (2018). Celina HS Tech Specialist, Students Keep District Moving Forward. Star Local. Available at: http://starlocalmedia.com/celinarecord/news/celina-hs-tech-specialist-students-keep-district-moving-forward/article_12b22760-1401-11e8-a2b6-333aa8a440e3.html#utm_campaign=blox&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social. Accessed June 10, 2018.
Sadker, & Sadker. (2018). What is Your Philosophy of Education?. Retrieved from http://highered.mheducation.com/sites/0072877723/student_view0/chapter9/what_do_you_think_.html. Accessed June 5, 2018.