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In the last post I defined Constructivism, in this one I will explain the role of constructivist educators and learner.
Role of Educator
Marcus Cicero said” The authority of those who teach is often an obstacle to those who want to learn.” (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/marcus_tullius_cicero.html), this quote is a key value for a constructivist educator, they never teach, there are four educative roles suggested for constructivist educators to help their learners.
First facilitators, educators help learners to talk and perhaps critically analyze their own past experience to construct new knowledge from it, understand learners’ differences and needs as for many people self-disclosure is uncomfortable, it is essential that educator encourage the development of self-awareness to knowledge construction process and reflexivity which is essential to the acquisition of goals. Second instigator, here educators work to engage learners actively in the learning process, that could be done using various ways such as using instructional games, or get students to take training or internship, or make students collaborate in doing a project, experience is crucial in construction of knowledge. Third as coaches, educators guide learners to reflect on their choices so they are able to analyze the outcomes of their experience, reject the undesired outcomes and make corrections. Finally assessors, judge in terms of the kind of knowledge learners have constructed from the experience (Fenwick, 2001).
Role of Learner
In constructivism, “learners are not empty vessels waiting to be filled, but rather active organisms seeking meaning” (Driscoll, 2005, p. 387), students take ownership of their learning, they identify problems, formulate hypotheses and reasoning, conduct data searches, perform experiments, formulate solutions and determine the best fit of solutions, they can also determine with their instructor suitable criteria and needs of their own learning, and how the needs will be satisfied in other words they set instructional goals.
They interact with their peers, discuss, share their experiences, and explore multiple perspectives and views that might conflict with their own, thus they agree, disagree, reformulate, refine and synthesize their thinking. They develop strategies for self-assessing their knowledge and planning their learning, they identify their knowledge deficiencies relative to a task being undertaken, generate a plan to remedy those deficiencies using appropriate resources, carry out the plan, and evaluate the results in the context of the problem or project they are working on.
- Driscoll. M.P. (2005). Psychology of Learning for Instruction. Toronto: Pearson
- Fenwick, T. (2001). Experiential Learning: A Theoretical Critique from Five Perspectives. University of Alberta. Retrieved from http://methodenpool.uni.koeln.de