This week at my practicum I saw many instances where constructivism was of use. One form of Constructivism can be seen through Individual Constructivism by Piaget. Another form of Constructivism is Social Constructivism by Vygotsky.

Individual constructivism includes learning individual but can also receive external input from the outside world to process and interpret internal thoughts, their own needs.  I saw this when one of the students that were in the prac class, who was a special learning in the sense where she was constantly ahead of the class used an example from another one of her classmates to then make an assumption and an idea and formulated it for herself. This can be seen through “Schema, Assimilation, Accommodation, Equilibrium and Disequilibrium.” (Hoy, & Margetts, 2016, p.322), which has been thought out by Piaget.

She heard her friend say that “Koalas are marsupials.”.  In a year one classroom it might be something that they have never heard before but for this particular girl, it wasn’t. She then went back to her desk and a few minutes later handed me back her book which read, ” The koala who has grey skin, lives in trees, eat eucalyptus leaves is a marsupial”. By using her friend’s knowledge she was able to build on her own. In this sense, the young girl used a sense of “Assimilation”, in the way she added to her existing knowledge as well as “Accommodation” which would relate to the knowledge she had now gained.

Another form is Social constructivism, this is told through the workings of Vygotsky. Social constructivism is a form of understanding ways in which students learn and the interactions they have with each other. My prac teacher separates the students into 4 groups. she puts the highest scoring students in the highest group and correlates it with the colour red,  which allows them to bounce off each other and make assumptions about their thoughts and beliefs when it comes to the basics. The way they learn is through having the freedom to go on their own to do the work set out for them. On the other hand, she collates the lowest scoring, she correlates this group with the colour yellow. The yellow group get intensive help from the teacher herself or any teaching aids to then enhance their focus. In this case, the students would have strict barriers in what they do and how much they take on. These restrictions allow them to engage without being sidetracked.

 

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