[IAEP] Path to Constructionism (was Re: Its.an.education.project Digest, Vol 4, Issue 8)
cafl at msbit.com
Mon Jul 7 23:47:32 CEST 2008
Your mail said:
> aspects of constructionist learning can be introduced early but for it to
> flourish takes:
> (a) time, quite a lot of (note alan's 3 year trial period)
That is not the time required to introduce teachers to the concepts
and basic methods. That is the time to design and refine new lesson
plans, including field testing.
> (b) expertise in software being used
Much can be done with only moderate knowledge. Particularly if someone
else programs the framework or the simulation needed.
> (c) knowledge of taking classes through the stages mentioned above
> (d) culture that accepts innovative approaches
Field research contradicts these claims, showing rapid improvements in
early weeks and months in the most conservative and hidebound
education systems, as reported in Ethiopia.
I understood from this that you were saying Ethiopia showed rapid
improvement in early weeks and months toward introducing constructionism.
If that is what readers understand from your mail, I don't believe that is
accurate. I also don't think it is productive to minimize the work and time
needed to introduce these methods to cultures that have a radically
different education system from ours.
Also, to the extent that you believe that western educational systems are
welcoming to constructivist or constructionist approaches, that has not been
my experience. In my children's case we had to participate in founding a
charter school to provide an environment where these ideas were welcome.
Right now "directed instruction" is highly touted in the U.S., especially in
schools serving low income and at risk populations. And there are a lot of
peer reviewed academic studies backing up the use of this style, possibly
because its outcomes are friendly to being measured by standardized tests
with automated scoring, but also because some of what kids are in school to
learn requires acquisition of a body of facts.
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