Questions and Answers about Constructivism and Multiage
Highlights and of a Constructivist Classroom
A constructivist approach to teaching lays the foundation for creating "lifelong 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.
Benefits of a constructivist education
- Children learn more, and enjoy learning more when they are actively involved, rather than passive listeners.
- Education works best when it concentrates on thinking and understanding, rather than on rote memorization. Constructivism concentrates on learning how to think and understand.
- Constructivist learning is transferable. In constructivist classrooms, students create organizing principles that they can take with them to other learning settings.
- Constructivism gives students ownership of what they learn, since learning is based on students' questions and explorations, and often the students have a hand in designing the assessments as well. Constructivist assessment engages the students' initiatives and personal investments in their journals, research reports, physical models, and artistic representations. Engaging the creative instincts develops students' abilities to express knowledge through a variety of ways. The students are also more likely to retain and transfer the new knowledge to real life.
- By grounding learning activities in an authentic, real-world context, constructivism stimulates and engages students. Students in constructivist classrooms learn to question things and to apply their natural curiosity to the world.
- Constructivism promotes social and communication skills by creating a classroom environment that emphasizes collaboration and exchange of ideas. Students must learn how to articulate their ideas clearly as well as to collaborate on tasks effectively by sharing in group projects. Students must therefore exchange ideas and so must learn to "negotiate" with others and to evaluate their contributions in a socially acceptable manner. This is essential to success in the real world, since they will always be exposed to a variety of experiences in which they will have to cooperate and navigate among the ideas of others.
Other advantages of a Sycamore Academy Education
- 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 classroom have a more positive attitude toward school and learning.
- Children have more opportunities for success, less for failure.
- Acceptance of individual academic and social differences is are 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 deliver Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, along with PE, Art, Music, and Science Programs.