Great Educators Don’t Teach
People learn new concepts differently. While some students are serial crammers, others do best when they follow the Constructivist Learning Theory. The method advances the view that you’ll learn best through experiencing and analyzing something. The experience part of this strategy allows us to challenge our prevailing beliefs and reconcile with the new information that we’ve encountered.
Regular class lessons teach from the unknown to the known. The constructivist way allows you to learn what you didn’t know from what you previously thought to be true. Along the process, you’ll drop anything that doesn’t align with your newfound knowledge.
Take a case of a teacher teaching his or her class about the shape of the earth. If they are following the Constructivist Learning Theory, they will not immediately declare our planet as being round. Instead, the instructor will give the students an opportunity to arrive at that conclusion or another one via an assignment. Moreover, the teacher will demand that the students provide evidence or at least explain their point of view.
The students will ideally carry out some experiments or other problem-solving techniques to find answers. Additionally, they will consider their beliefs versus the lesson at hand. While the teacher can simply provide answers, that would defeat the point of learning. In such a scenario, an instructor guides the students along their journey to become active students.
The main concepts that make up the Constructivist Learning Theory are as follows:
- Learning does not happen overnight
- Learning is a collective effort, and the process needs language
- Ineffective learning is passive
- Learning first depends on a person’s mindset before their efforts
- Real experiences provide ideal learning experiences
- Motivation is necessary for learning
As much as the Constructivist Theory is likely to benefit the traditional school system, there are challenges associated with the method:
- The learning process takes precedence over correct answers
- There are subjects where repetitive learning and memorization are necessary to unlock advanced understanding, e.g., math
- Young students require direction so that they know when they’ve reached their learning destination instead of a perpetual journey
- Evaluating the learning process is harder than simply grading answers
Despite these shortcomings, the theory presents real benefits for both teachers and students. However, some adjustments will be necessary, especially from the instructor’s side. You’ll be switching from being the primary source of information to including your students in the teaching process. A functional strategy is to prepare practical questions that pique your students’ curiosity so that they can initiate learning on their own.
While educators take part in teaching, they do so differently. For one, the instructors find ways to liven the class by providing engaging challenges and assignments. They also give students a chance to make their case as the educators guide their efforts.