During the first week of readings, several new learning theories were introduced to me. The one I that I seemed to connect with the most was constructivism. I really enjoyed reading about this theory, as it is based in the principles that learners “consider learning to be an individual and personal event.” (SEDL, 1999) I feel that this is so true that “learners bring unique prior knowledge, experience, and beliefs to a learning situation.” (SEDL, 1999). The theory acknowledges that learners bring their own unique prior knowledge, experience and beliefs, that learning is controlled internally and considered, knowledge is constructed in many ways, learning is a process of accommodation and assimilation or rejection, learning is both active and reflective and social interaction provides multiple perspectives.
I often see my students respond to the information I present to them. Their responses are varied. Some seem to accept and retain the information easily, while others need time to process it and find some connection to it. I believe many of my students come to my class with some basic knowledge of the content they will be learning and can immediately see the connection to their own experiences. I am learning that I need to continue to work toward a more learner-centered classroom and shed the teacher-centered, traditional idea of instruction. Although this is a little scary, because it requires me to give up some control in my classroom; but it is necessary to adapt to the method in which my students can involve themselves in their own learning process. Group projects, student teamwork, field trips and guest speakers and collaborators must all become a part of my daily lesson planning to create an environment that is student-centered and student-influenced.
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, (1999). Learning as a personal event: A brief introduction to constructivism. Retrieved on September 2, 2012 from http://www.sedl.org/pubs/tec26/intro2c.html
Adams, S., & Burns, M. (1999). Connecting student learning and technology. Retrieved on September 2, 2012 from http://www.sedl.org/pubs/tec26/flash.html