Constructionism is a hands-on method of teaching where students are involved in either assimilating or accommodating new information. Dr. Orey explains that humans appreciate equilibrium and when there is disequilibration there are two choices, to accommodate the new information or assimilate it (Laureate Education, Inc, 2011).
Having students generate and test their own hypotheses creates a learner-centered classroom. The students in Mr. McDevitt’s class were involved in a simulation of World War II (Pitler, et al, 2007). A constructivist classroom is one where the students are being challenged to either assimilate or accommodate new content (Laureate Education, Inc., 2011). The students were able to test what would happen in their decisions by participating in the simulation. This makes the students more responsible for their learning. They are not able to read and memorize facts. It requires higher level thinking in Bloom’s Taxonomy because they are applying what they learned to make hypotheses and then testing it.
http://space.jpl.nasa.gov/ is a great resource to use with students who are studying constellations. There are several variables that students are able to input and see the outcome. In order to teach using constructionism in the classroom, the instructor must anticipate the direction the learners will be going. They need to pre-assess the class’ skills and be prepared to make changes as necessary. The instruction will be student-centered. They will be encouraged to ask the questions and find the answers.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program seven: Constructionist and constructivist learning theories [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from http://laureate.ecollege.com/ec/crs/default.learn?CourseID=5700267&CPURL=laureate.ecollege.com&Survey=1&47=2594577&ClientNodeID=984650&coursenav=0&bhcp=1
Orey, M. (Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Main_Page
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.