Social Constructivist Perspectives on Teaching & Learning Research context of social constructivism Mechanisms accounting for learning  Sociocognitive

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  • Social Constructivist Perspectives on Teaching & Learning Research context of social constructivism Mechanisms accounting for learning Sociocognitive conflict theory of Piaget Sociocultural theory of Vygotsky Analyses of social constructivism Institutional analyses Interpersonal analyses Discursive analyses Application to contemporary education Acquiring expertise across domains Assessment Providing meaningful education for all children Educational reform Social Constructivism: The acquisition of intellectual skills through social interaction (Think: Vygotsky, Socially Distributed Cognition)
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  • Social Constructivist Perspectives on Teaching & Learning Research context of social constructivism Mechanisms accounting for learning Sociocognitive conflict theory of Piaget Sociocultural theory of Vygotsky Analyses of social constructivism Institutional analyses Interpersonal analyses Discursive analyses Application to contemporary education Acquiring expertise across domains Assessment Providing meaningful education for all children Educational reform
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  • Situating Sociocultural Theory Behaviorism Learning. Differential strengthening of bonds between situations and actions (S R) Teaching. Shaping the responses of the learner (e.g. demonstration, reinforcement) Task Analysis. Determine component parts, drill on prerequisite skills before advanced materials Direct Instruction. Teacher controls pace, sequence, and content of lesson Problems with Behaviorism Works for teaching facts, not higher order cognitive skills Does not result in the flexibility necessary for transfer of skills to occur Offers no explanation of the mechanisms that account for learning
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  • Situating Sociocultural Theory Computational Theory of Mind Meaning-making. Cognitive structures (e.g., schemata, proposition networks) represent knowledge in memory & underlie problem-solving & transfer. Constructivism. Cognitive structures seen as individually constructed in the process of interpreting (representing) experiences. Notion of Constructivism Minimal constructivism Radical constructivism Individual constructs knowledge via mental representations; issue is whether or not they are accurate Knowledge develops via dialogue w/others; hence, no such thing as objective knowledge
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  • Situating Sociocultural Theory Why social constructivism? Modeling the mental processing of a given task (i.e. think- aloud activities) improves students performance. Success of reciprocal teaching students engage in reading comprehension strategies (predicting, questioning, summarizing, clarifying) in groups oProvided evidence of relationship between quality of social interaction & nature of learning that occurred Research on collaboration collective knowledge, multiple understandings (representations), distributed cognitive work Awareness of role of language production in promoting learning (explaining ones thinking leads to deeper processing) What is social constructivism? The idea that thought, language, and knowledge are not just influenced by social factors but are social phenomena oCognition is a collaborative process oThought is internalized discourse oDevelopment is internalization of socially shared activities/ processes Social Constructivism = Socially Distributed Cognition
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  • Social Constructivist Perspectives on Teaching & Learning Research context of social constructivism Mechanisms accounting for learning Sociocognitive conflict theory of Piaget Sociocultural theory of Vygotsky Analyses of social constructivism Institutional analyses Interpersonal analyses Discursive analyses Application to contemporary education Acquiring expertise across domains Assessment Providing meaningful education for all children Educational reform
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  • Mechanisms for Learning Sociocognitive Conflict Theory of Piaget Cognitive conflict created by social interaction drives intellectual development Contradiction between the learners existing understanding & current experiences leads to disequilibration Disequilibration forces the subject to go beyond his current state and strike out in new directions (Paiget) Among peers, there is mutual control over the interaction, therefore Social interaction between equals is more likely to lead to cognitive development Caveats: verbal interaction is key to the co-construction of meaning May be unproductive if interaction is sparse May be unproductive if social structure allows passive compliance Social status strongly shapes what cognitive change happens.
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  • Mechanisms for Learning Sociocultural Theory of Vygotsky The social dimension of consciousness is primary in time and in fact. The individual dimension of consciousness is derivative and secondary. (Vygotsky) Higher mental functioning has its origins in social interaction An individuals cognitive structures & processes emerge from their interactions with others (not just information passed around) Focus typically on interaction between people of varying levels of expertise (zone of proximal development) Development seen as the result of learning, not its precondition (*cough cough Piaget cough*) There is no generic development that is independent of communities & their practices (*cough cough Piaget cough*) Human action, on both the social and individual planes, is mediated by tools & signs (semiotics) These tools & signs (a) facilitate co-construction of knowledge, and (b) are internalized to aid future independent activity Learning (& Development) result from a complex interplay of mediational tools, the individual, and the social world
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  • Summing Up Social Constructivism The individual is thoroughly social Separating the individual from social influences is not possible Learning is culturally & contextually specific the sociocultural contexts in which teaching & learning occur are critical to learning itself Cognition is not separate from social, motivational, emotional, and identity processes The study of generalization (transfer) is the study of processes not personal/situational attributes
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  • Social Constructivist Perspectives on Teaching & Learning Research context of social constructivism Mechanisms accounting for learning Sociocognitive conflict theory of Piaget Sociocultural theory of Vygotsky Analyses of social constructivism Institutional analyses Interpersonal analyses Discursive analyses Application to contemporary education Acquiring expertise across domains Assessment Providing meaningful education for all children Educational reform
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  • Institutional Analysis of Social Constructivist Perspective What does this theory mean for the culture of schooling? Schools must be reconsidered in terms of different teaching methods (yes, of course) different cultural systems, representing different educational, social, & communicative norms & priorities EXAMPLE: The value placed on co-construction of meaning CHALLENGE: Difficulty of creating a context in Western European schools where an intersubjective attitude prevails (rather than privileging of individual success, knowledge display, competition)
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  • Interpersonal Analysis of Social Constructivist Perspective What does this theory mean for classroom culture? Learning as a Social Enterprise Emphasis on collaborative student work Teacher as scaffold (guide on the side) Shared ownership of the learning negotiation of shared meaning (rather than division of labor) through: All members of group work on same part of the problem at the same time Members externalize their thinking, both right & wrong Members negotiate to agreement before moving forward As instruction moves forward, regulative activity is transferred from teacher to students (e.g. revoicing) Caveats: social relations drastically impact collaboration (hence, learning) teachers must socialize students into new ways of treating peers as intellectual partners
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  • Discursive Analysis of Social Constructivist Perspective What does this theory mean for student interaction? Discourse is the primary symbolic, mediational tool for cognitive development Research demonstrates that discourse/interaction is conducive to learning; however, the benefits depend on the type of talk Talk that is interpretive (generated in the service of analysis or explanations) is better than than talk that is merely descriptive Teachers need to seed the conversation with new and/or alternatives for students to consider to push students individual & joint thinking The structure of the group activity matters: oResponsibility should be shared oExpertise should be distributed oNeeds an ethos for building on preceding ideas
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  • We stopped here & will continue with the rest tomorrow.
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  • Social Constructivist Perspectives on Teaching & Learning Research context of social constructivism Mechanisms accounting for learning Sociocognitive conflict theory of Piaget Sociocultural theory of Vygotsky Analyses of social constructivism Institutional analyses Interpersonal analyses Discursive analyses Application to contemporary education Acquiring expertise across domains Assessment Providing meaningful education for all children Educational reform
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  • Application of Social Constructivism to Education Acquir