Sunday, April 8, 2012

In Search of Understanding: The Case for Constructivist Classrooms


"Traditional processes, which tend to emphasize "rightness" and "wrongness," are no longer helpful. Assessment processes must instead link the learner with the teacher, provide nonjudgmental feedback, provide for teacher monitoring and observation, and include activities that assess while learning is still occurring."

"We construct our own understandings of the world in which we live. We search for tools to help us understand our experiences. To do so is human nature."

"I propose situations for people to think about and I watch what they do. They tell me what they make of it rather than my telling them what to make of it."

"When asking students questions, most teachers see not to enable students to think through intricate issues, but to discover whether students know the "right" answers."

"Schooling is premised on the notion that there exists a fixed world that the learner must come to know."

"Teachers who value the child's present conceptions, rather than measure how far away they are from other conceptions, help students construct individual understandings important to them."

"The only discernible aspect is, once again, the student's behavior, but a different type of behavior. In the constructivist approach, we look not for what students can repeat, but for what they can generate, demonstrate, and exhibit."

"Piaget suggested that the creation of new cognitive structures springs from the child's need to reach equilibrium when confronted with internally constructed contradictions."

"This is not to say that she will necessarily construct the understanding held by the teacher or other thinkers in the class, just that the new understanding will likely be somewhat more sophisticated than the prior one."

"Although designed to foster students' algebraic skills, these types of textbook problems often interfere with students' desire to engage in future mathematical endeavors and, over time, erode students' confidence and self-esteem."

Brooks, J., & Brooks, M. (1999). In search of understanding: The case for constructvist classrooms. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

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