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Are you a "Constructivist" Teacher?


From: Judith Decker (jdecker4art_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri Oct 15 2004 - 08:02:59 PDT

Greetings Art Educators,

This post to TAB list by Kathy Douglas looks like
"good teaching" to me. I have been following a thread
on TAB Choice list "Constructivism vs. traditional
classroom". I'd hate to think "traditional" means the
opposite of this....

From Kathy Douglas' post (source listed below):

Becoming a Constructivist Teacher

1. Constructivist teachers encourage and accept
student autonomy and initiative.

2. Constructivist teachers use raw data and primary
sources, along with manipulative, interactive, and
physical materials.

3. When framing tasks, constructivist teachers use
cognitive terminology such as "classify," "analyze,"
"predict," and "create."

4. Constructivist teachers allow student responses to
drive lessons, shift instructional strategies, and
alter content.

5. Constructivist teachers inquire about students'
understandings of concepts before sharing their own
understandings of those concepts.

6. Constructivist teachers encourage students to
engage in dialogue, both with the teacher and with one

7. Constructivist teachers encourage student inquiry
by asking thoughtful, open-ended questions and
encouraging students to ask questions of each other.

8. Constructivist teachers seek elaboration of
students' initial responses.

9. Constructivist teachers engage students in
experiences that might engender contradictions to
their initial hypotheses and then encourage

10. Constructivist teachers allow wait time after
posing questions.

11. Constructivist teachers provide time for students
to construct relationships and create

12. Constructivist teachers nurture students' natural
curiosity through frequent use of the
learning cycle model.

a. First the teacher provides an open-ended
opportunity for students to interact with
purposefully selected materials...primary goal is for
students to generate questions and hypotheses from
working with the materials..."discovery".

b. Teacher provides the "concept
introduction"...focusing students'
questions...providing new vocabulary...framing
proposed experiments...

c. "..concept application" completes the
cycle...students work on new problems with
potential for evoking a fresh look at the concepts
previously studied.

In Search of Understanding: the Case for
Constructivist Classrooms
Brooks & Brooks Alexandria VA: ASCD 1993
I just thought this would help you reflect on your


Judy Decker

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