Knowledge of the Classroom Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Classroom -- Deploying the Constructivist Philosophy in a Standards-Based Educational Environment

In today's standards-based educational environment, there is a strong amount of pressure upon both teachers and students to achieve certain set requirements at certain set times, rather than to engage in the process of learning for learning's sake in an experimental and student-directed fashion. Yet such a hands-on and independent process of learning is the key to the constructivist philosophy of education, whereby students are encouraged to learn how to learn through personal experimentation and the testing of student-created rather than teacher-directed hypothesis about the world. In constructivism, students are encouraged to ask questions and to test the answers they generate in response to those questions, rather than to merely ask the teacher if they are right or wrong.

Thus, the constructivist philosophy of education acts as a profound challenge to accepted hierarchies of the educational process, whereby the teacher usually directs the classroom and the students must follow in lockstep, accepting the teacher's conclusions about the world and formulating their learning according to the teacher's set designs.

Rather than teaching to set or predetermined standards, the educational philosophy of constructivism stresses student autonomy and initiative in the learning process. It underlines the fact that, by respecting students' ideas and encouraging independent thinking, teachers must help their pupils create their own intellectual identity.

Students in a constructivist classroom may frame questions about scientific issues, such as how heat is generated and are encouraged to create experiments and to go about analyzing and answering these questions. The responsibility in a constructivist classroom is not solely on the shoulders of a teacher, but upon the shoulders of the learners, first and foremost. By shifting such responsibilities constructivism challenges conventional notions about lesson planning, and the authority a teacher must assume to create a disciplined, organized and effective classroom environment. It could even be argued that one of the potential dangers of constructivism is…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

SCHIMATH-SEDL. (2004) "Building an Understanding of Constructivism."

Retrieved 11 Sept at http://www.sedl.org/scimath/compass/v01n03

SCHIMATH-SEDL. (2004) "Constructing Knowledge in the Classroom." Retrieved 11 Sept at http://www.sedl.org/scimath/compass/v01n03

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