Constructivist Educational Strategies

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What is Constructivism?

Constructivism is a theory of learning with a focus on student-centered practices.

Student-centered educators work toward creating a classroom where students have opportunities to be engaged in what they are learning. Practices such as think-pair-share, self-reflection, and structured group work are often part of the student-centered classroom.

To understand Constructivism better, consider the following scenario from Flynn, Mesibov, Vermette & Smith’s (2008) book Captivating Classrooms with Constructivism.

“Wouldn’t ‘The Wizard of Oz’ have been a different story if Dorothy had never left the farm? What if Glinda had visited Dorothy in Kansas and had explained why Dorothy should be grateful to be in Kansas and why she should be appreciative of all the people and surroundings that were available to her? Would Dorothy have listened for 46 minutes, nodded understandingly, and then said, “Thank you, good witch of the North, now I understand why I am so fortunate, everything I could ever want is right here in my own backyard?” Yeah, right. As Glinda says in response to a question from Scarecrow, ‘Dorothy had to learn it for herself.’”