Third Blog.

Social constructivism

Watch this video to see how inquiry based learning in the 21st century classroom can help students gain understanding and engagement!

Typically, in the constructivist classroom the attention shifts from the teacher to the students as the leaning is based on students taking responsibility for their own learning. The students in the classroom become actively involved in their own learning process as they are engaged in doing, rather than listening. According to Jordan, Carlile and Stack (2008) the teacher in the constructivist classroom, does not drizzle and dispense knowledge into their students rather both teacher and students think of knowledge as dynamic, and the ability to successfully stretch and explore, not as facts to be learnt. Jordan et al. (2008) discovered that despite the students having the same learning experience, each individual will base their learning on the understanding and meaning personal to them. Students gain meaning through this continuous process as they take responsibility to learn through the guidance of the teacher.

social constructivism
The University College Dublin (n.d) suggests that:

1. Effective learning occurs when your students’ learning experiences are engaging, that is, when your students are doing rather than just listening.
2. In enquiry-based learning, students take on more responsibility for identifying precisely what they need to learn and finding resources which will allow them to fill their knowledge gaps.
3. Enquiry-based learning can progressively help students to develop their research skills as self-directed learners.
Students learn to identify and find answers to the questions that they need to ask and the resources that they need to draw upon in solving any given complex (often real world problem).

The main pursuit in a constructivist classroom is solving problems as they ask questions, investigate a topic, and use a variety of resources to find solutions and answers. As students explore the topic, they draw conclusions, and, as exploration continues. This method is used in the social constructivist classrooms in the 21st century in order for students to gain as much knowledge and experiences as possible.

University College Dublin (n.d). Constructivism and Social Constructivism in the classroom.

Jordan, A., Carlile, O., & Stack, A. (2008). Approaches to learning: A guide for teachers. Open University Press: Berkshire


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