Week 1

Essential Question: Do you believe Constructionism brings any new ideas to the table as a theory of education? Why or Why not?

 

I believe that Constructionism is a theory that helps us look at educational concepts in a new light. I believe that people learn more efficiently when we use our hands versus just reading books. Hands on interaction such building things create knowledge. We learned in our textbook that Constructionism is the idea that people learn more effectively through making things. Constructionism is not a curriculum or a set of rules (Martinez).

 

Constructionism, is a term coined by Seymour Papert who was a student of Piaget’s, says that learning occurs “most felicitously” when constructing a public artifact “whether a sand castle on the beach or a theory of the universe.” Seymour believes that students will be more deeply involved in their learning if they are constructing something that others will see, critique, and perhaps use. Through that construction, students will face complex issues, and they will make the effort to problem-solve and learn because they are motivated by the construction (guzdial.cc.gatech.edu).

 

When think about what Constructionism in education, I think of one of the schools that I worked in when I worked for the Anchorage School district, Chugach Optional school. The school does not look like the other standard schools. The classrooms are in a big open settings and the classes were explained to me like families. The curriculum was not structured like the other public schools. The kids learned through doing things. They had projects and gardens that they built with their own hands. All of the kids participated and all of them felt like they were part of community family.

 

I like the new Constructionism way of thinking. The hands-on-way of learning is a way for kids to figure to create things. My kids are in a Stem program and love to go to school. They have so many projects where they can learn and build new things.

 

Resources:

Martinez, S. L., & Stager, G. (n.d.). Invent to learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom.

 

Constructivism vs. Constructivism vs. Constructionism. (n.d.). Retrieved May 18, 2016, from http://guzdial.cc.gatech.edu/Commentary/construct.html

 

Chugach Optional. About Us. (n.d.). Retrieved May 18, 2016, from http://chugachoptional.asdk12.org/aboutus/

 

Constructionism. (n.d.). Retrieved May 18, 2016, from http://guzdial.cc.gatech.edu/Commentary/construct.html

 

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6 thoughts on “Week 1

  1. Amy Witt says:

    Josie,

    I like your examples of the Chugach Optional School and how the students were engaged in creating gardens and building things. I agree with you that a STEM curriculum motivates students to create with its hands-on approach; how fortunate that your kids attend a school with this kind of program! I work with students in Special Education and see them come alive and be open to learning when we make it hands-on and and address the Multiple Intelligences. I like how you say that Constructionism motivates students as they build a “public artifact,” so they take pride in their work to show others their best ideas and creations.

    Like

  2. Amy Witt says:

    Josie,
    I like your examples of the Chugach Optional School and how the students were engaged in creating gardens and building things. I agree with you that a STEM curriculum motivates students to create with its hands-on approach; how fortunate that your kids attend a school with this kind of program! I work with students in Special Education and see them come alive and be open to learning when we make it hands-on and and address the Multiple Intelligences. I like how you say that Constructionism motivates students as they build a “public artifact,” so they take pride in their work to show others their best ideas and creations.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. unicyclepro says:

    It’s nice to have schools that deviate from the norm and uses alternative methods of instruction as its main pedagogy. I really feel that education needs a real “overhaul”. I heard that on the radio the other day and they were describing the State of Alaska’s criminal system. The state needs less prison cells and more rehabilitating programs to curb crime in Alaska. I feel that technology can assist our education system in some manner to be effective, creative, and successful for our students. It’s amazing that the way we operate K-12 schools has not dramatically changed (as a whole) from a little over 100 years ago. It is my hope that we all can assist in it’s “overhaul”.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. clayedet637 says:

    Nice post, Josie!

    I appreciate how you point out and highlight that an essential element of constructionism is making something that will be seen and/or used by other people. For some reason, this didn’t stick with me enough when I read through the chapter, but I feel it makes constructionism stand out from other educational theories, including constructivism. I have seen firsthand the difference in students’ interest and work habits when they are creating something to be used by others as opposed to something they will just turn in to the teacher for a grade.

    I didn’t know about the Chugach Optional School, either. Thanks for including this in your post. As constructionism continues to grow throughout Alaska, it will be important for school such as this to lead by example and to offer support to other teachers and schools who are looking to create more opportunities for deeper and more relevant learning to their students.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. katemullin17 says:

    Josie,
    Thanks for introducing me to the Chugach Option school. I did not know of its existence and am very intrigued by the model. I went to the website, but I feel like this is something I would need to see for myself to fully understand and appreciate.

    Even in situations where a fully integrated model of hands-on learning is not possible, having the ability to incorporate some time where students engage in this type of learning is beneficial to the overall development of student interests, skills, and confidence. I can see districts balking at completely converting to this model, but we, as the educational leaders of our classrooms, can, and should, make elements of hands-on learning happen for our students.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. aletakmay says:

    Hi Josie,

    Your blog post is inspiring!

    Constructionism connected with technology is very powerful! I like the idea of a big open room and students working on projects as a project. It also seems important to have stations set up where students may research independently or in a small group with a computer. Students could have a station set up to write, draw, and sometimes translate this to graphs or mind maps online. Skyping with people at a computer set up for interviewing a local gardener, for example, would help structure the curriculum design to meet standards.

    Like

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