Highlights of a Constructivist Classroom
A constructivist approach to teaching lays the foundation for creating "life-long learners" through an activity centered, nurturing classroom. Children make choices about their learning and become responsible for the choices they make. They share, problem solve, and collaborate with each other in a trusting environment that fosters the joy of learning. As a result, children participate in designing their own learning experiences and enjoy a more individualized program.
Other advantages are:
- As a charter school, we are able to expand on our curriculum and program to foster a learner centered environment without the same confines as a traditional public school within a large school district.
- HOW TO learn is as valuable as WHAT is learned. It is not presumed that "covering curriculum" constitutes learning.
- Developmentally advanced students are less likely to become bored with school.
- Research indicates that children in a constructivist classrooms have a more positive attitude toward school and learning.
- Children have more opportunities for success, less for failure.
- Acceptance of individual academic differences is easier to foster and accommodate.
- Children are more likely to experience being both leaders and followers.
- An enhanced sense of community and cooperation exists when the children work in a hands-on, collaborative setting
- Passive learners are more readily transformed into active learners.
- We can deliver ALL of the state standards, including PE, Art, Music, and Science Programs.
What's the difference between a "combo" class and a "multi-age" class?
A combination class is a split class of two or more grades. The teacher presents two curriculums that rely on two sets of textbooks/workbooks. Students are grouped according to the grade in which he/she is assigned. Typically the teacher addresses one grade level at a time while the other group (grade level) is working on "seat work". Students are expected to stay within grade-level expectations and boundaries. A behaviorist philosophy is adhered to and teacher-centered approach is practiced. In a multi-age class, students are grouped according to student needs, learning styles, interests and educational requirements. Groupings can be flexible which allows for opportunities to work with all learning styles and personalities. One blended curriculum is presented and expectations vary. A constructivist philosophy of learning is practiced and learner-centered approach is employed. Students and teacher remain together for two years minimum which allows for greater understanding of students' personalities, needs and growth models. Students benefit from cross-age learning as older students benefit from their modeling role while younger students benefit from collaboration with older students.