A teaching framework based on the constructivist theory

Embed Size (px)


Teaching Framework (ESL/EFL)

Text of A teaching framework based on the constructivist theory

  • 1. Philippine Normal UniversityNational Center for Teacher EducationFaculty of Arts and LanguagesTaft Avenue, ManilaA Teaching Framework Based on the Constructivist TheorySubmitted by:Angelie T. MagdasocII 17 BSE EnglishSubmitted to:Prof. Maria Sarah Palma

2. I. IntroductionIn my 12 years of studying, I have already experienced different strategies orapproaches implemented by my teachers. Well, I could say that some of those wereeffective, and some were not. As a future educator, I was challenged to decide of whatapproach I will use in teaching that will nurture my students minds to absorb andunderstand what needs to be learned. I must choose the one which I think would reallyensure my students learning. At this point, I consider constructivism as the basis of myteaching frame work, because I believe that it will provide my students a distinctiveeducational experience through processing schemas and formulating new ideas bythemselves.II. Background on ConstructivismConstructivism is basically a theory -- based on observation and scientific study -- about how people learn. It says that people construct their own understanding andknowledge of the world, through experiencing things and reflecting on thoseexperiences. When we encounter something new, we have to reconcile it with ourprevious ideas and experience, maybe changing what we believe, or maybe discardingthe new information as irrelevant. In any case, we are active creators of our ownknowledge. To do this, we must ask questions, explore, and assess what we know.In the classroom, the constructivist view of learning can point towards a numberof different teaching practices. In the most general sense, it usually means encouragingstudents to use active techniques (experiments, real-world problem solving) to createmore knowledge and then to reflect on and talk about what they are doing and how their 3. understanding is changing. The teacher makes sure she understands the students'preexisting conceptions, and guides the activity to address them and then build onthem.III. Teaching FrameworkA. Preparation1) Setting concrete goals to achieve at the end of every discussionIt is already given that in order for every task to be successful, there arecertain goals which should be met. Teaching doesnt just occur for nothing. We teachbecause we want the students to learn. My goals are to make sure that my students willbe engaged in various activities that would make them construct their own ideas.2) Preparing suitable instructional materialsSince I want them to be engaged in various activities, I should be able toprovide appropriate instructional materials. These materials should be somethingmanipulative, appealing, and are accessible to various levels of ability of the learners.3) Preparing student assessmentsAside from typical written and oral examinations, student assessmentsmay also be concrete, meaning something that can be experienced by learners. I thinkactivities such as hands-on experiments, portfolio making, journal writing, problemsolving, and even those tasks involve in multiple intelligences will be very effective. 4. 4) Mastering knowledge about the lessonLetting my students construct their own ideas doesnt mean that I will notmaster my lessons anymore because the children will still need my help. Though I willnot give them the exact answers, I should still be there to support them so that they willnot come out to wrong ideas.B. Learning Environment1) Exposing students to a classroom environment that is full of respectA classroom full of respect will definitely produce not just students ofknowledge but also students of values. It may create a harmonious relationshipbetween me and my students, and most probably between my students and theirclassmates.2) Establishing House RulesI believe that creating something which students are obliged to follow willdevelop their sense of responsibility, as well as their discipline. But of course, thoserules should be reasonable. I could also consider punishments but these should beappropriate and should not be beyond the limit.3) Maintaining the cleanliness and orderlinessAn ideal classroom should always be kept dirt free and organized becausethis affects the learning of the students. Unhealthy surroundings may disturb thechildren making them uncomfortable while studying, so its better if I will prevent this tohappen. 5. 4) Establishing a classroom routineA routine is simply a set of procedures for handling both daily occurrences (e.g.,taking attendance, starting a class period, or turning in assignments), and minorinterruptions of instruction, such as a students broken pencil or the arrival of a notefrom the main office (Kosier, 1998; Savage, 1999). The essence of establishing routinesis to practice students to complete tasks without the teachers assistance. In this case,two objectives will be accomplished according to Colvin & Lazar (1995):(a) Students have more opportunity to learn.(b) Teachers can devote more time to instruction.C. Professional Responsibilities1) Reflecting on my teaching styleI think this is one of the important things that I should do to reflect on myown way of teaching. I should do this from time to time so that I will be aware weathermy strategy is still effective and if it still suits my students learning ability because if not,I should immediately seek for another strategy to perform.2) Keeping accurate recordsRecords are so essential to monitor students performance so this shouldbe kept accurate and consistent. This will also help me identify the students who needmore attention. 6. 3) Ensuring communication with students parents or guardiansAs a teacher, I should keep in touch with my students parents andguardians because I know that they also want to monitor their childrens schoolperformance. Moreover, communicating with them will help me understand my studentsdifferent personalities.4) Being professional alwaysBeing professional means conforming to the customs or rules of mychosen profession. One of these rules is making myself always available every time mystudents will need me for consultation. Teaching profession does not end inside theclassroom because there are some instances when my students will need me evenwere outside the academic context.D. Manner of Instruction1) Preparing suitable activitiesSince I am building a constructivist classroom, my goal is to let mystudents learn by doing. I should implement activities which will exhibit discovery,hands-on, experiential, collaborative, project-based, and task-based learning. In thiscase, I think I could use activities such as Brainstorming (e.i. the students wi ll sharetheir schemas and insights with each other), Reciprocal Questioning (e.i. students worktogether to ask and answer questions), Jigsaw (e.i. students become "experts" on onepart of a group project and teach it to the others in their group), Structured 7. Controversies (e.i. students work together to research a particular controversy)(Woolfolk 2010).2) Using questioning and discussion methodAfter involving my students to different activities, I will now proceed toquestioning and discussion method. First, I will ask them to share what they learn fromthose activities, and then I will form good questions. In that case, every answer fromthose questions will be discussed further.3) Peer scaffolding and teacher-directed scaffoldingAs a teacher I should create opportunities for peer scaffolding andteacher-directed scaffolding. Scaffolding is a concept closely related to the idea of Zoneof Proximal Development. It is changing the level of support to suit the cognitivepotential of the child. In this case, peer and teacher-directed scaffolding is the processof allowing interaction that encourage knowledge building, and therefore connects thedifferences of knowledge levels within a classroom.IV. SummaryThe world is getting more advanced as time goes by. We, as future teachers arechallenged to also have advanced strategies in teaching to compete and adapt with thepresent norms. But of course, that will be made possible by considering the differenttheories developed by early scholars. As for me, I prefer the constructivist theory (orconstructionism). By using this as the basis of my teaching framework, I am building aclassroom which has students who create and discover ideas from their experiences. 8. I divided my teaching framework into 4 phases. First is reparation. This includessetting concrete goals, preparing suitable instructional materials, as well asassessments, and mastering my lessons. Second is building an ideal learningenvironment which means creating a classroom full of respect, establishing house rules,maintaining the cleanliness and orderliness and establishing a classroom routine. Thethird one is professional responsibilities. It involves reflecting on my own teaching style,keeping accurate records of my students, ensuring communication with my studentsparents or guardians and being always professional. And lastly I included threemanners of instruction and those are preparing suitable activities that would implydiscovery, hands-on, experiential, collaborative, project-based, and task-based learning;Questioning and Discussion Method; and lastly, the peer and teacher-directedscaffolding. I hope I could really implement these in the future for the sake of mystudents learning. 9. REFERENCESCey, T. (2001). Moving towards constructivist classrooms. Retrieved October 14, 2013from http://ed.fnal.gov/lincoln/el_constructivism.htmlCiesemier K., Gatz S., Meehan S., Marszalek C., & Pentek P. (2006). Assessing yourstudents learning (your project). Retrieved October 14, 2013 fromhttp://ed.fnal.gov/lincon/el_assessment.shtmlConstructivism (philosophy of education). (n.d.). Retrieved October 14, 2013 fromhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructivism_%28philosophy_of_education%29Constructivism. (2004). Retrieved October 14, 2013 fromhttp://www.thirteen.o