Tuesday, May 21, 2013

(My assignment was to put into practice a small strategy from the constructivist approach.  Most of my groups have come to an end so I chose to reflect on my understanding of constructivism instead.)

In order to begin to make little changes in my classroom to reflect a constructivist approach, I must first come to understand more of the theory.  In my previous reflection, one practice I wrote about in the beginning was how districts promote high standards and align curriculum to the standards.  I was really uncomfortable to write against this linear process as described below.  Every practice out district puts into place is designed around high standards.  The bar is set on high standards for our students, staff, and administration. To say we don't strive for high standards and we don't align our curriculum is so counter cultural. I'm not sure how the constructivist theory of learning would look differently.  Below is some information off of a slide from a power point "In Search of Understanding." 
Learning is not a linear process: 
Current Practice:
*high standards
*align curriculum
*construct assessments to standard
*reward schools or punish schools based on student performance
Constructivist Approach:
*what students know is a construct
*new learning transforms old beliefs or doesn't
*students create their own meaning
*spitting out info does not equal real knowing

I believe in some of the approaches:  spitting out info does not equal real knowing and students create their own meaning.  I also am against rewarding or punishing schools based on student performance.  Having a student with a learning disability helps me see that not one teacher would want him in their class if they are rewarded on growth.  This approach just sets up competition amongst teachers and puts the under performing students at even more of a disadvantage.  Clearly, this practice doesn't promote what's best for kids.

If anyone has comments that would help me better understand my comments above, I am open to your input.  Learning and growing from where I am at really is student(me) centered and takes me where I'm at. Now that is a constructivist approach!

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