One of the contemporary theory of in theory of education is contructivisim ,which the contructivist thoughts regards to reemphasising the ideas put forward by Piaget,Dewey ,Bruner and many others.
According to Wooolfolk(1995) contructivism is a theory of learning and knowledge that have roots in philosophy and psychology. One of the major principles of constructivists view of learening ,thus the learner have to take an active role in building understanding and making sense of information.
This implies that knowledge is not passively received but actively bilt up by a thinking individual. Marrison (1995)gives second prinicple in the construstivists ' view of learning as the belief that cognition has adpating a function and organise the experimental world.
When a thinking individual meets new experiences ,the experiences are taken into mind and the mind has the task of making new experiences fitting into already exisitng skills. Necessary adjustment can then be made ,it is essential to bear in mind that no two individuals have identical cognitive structures even on a similar topic.Each individual's understanding of a concept is a great extent influenced by the individual unique experiences and prior learning.
Constructivists also observed that meaning used by language users are constructed on the basis of individual and social experiences. Such meanings remain subjectivr regardless of any modifications that might take place through interaction with others. They also point out that meanings are conceptual structures that influences individual construction in organisation of his/her experiencial world.
To them the Constructivists succumbed to the knwledg as relatively constructed on the basis of prior knowledge cultural and social context. This view of learning also emposes the usefulness of knowledge to the knower instead of accurate representation of facts. Such thoughts in the school of Constructivists also stresses the use of important of social interaction in building an understanding.
Constructivists' contribution made educational practitioners realise the following:
Child centred approach to be used when teaching ,teachers and learners among themselves need to support one another in the learning process through the exchange of ideas. Learners' attempt to understand concepts should be at the centre of educational enterprise.
Content has to be presented in a number of different ways and has to be useful to the learner. Higher cognitive functions are reached through interaction and learners need to understand their own matter of cognitive processes.
Teachers who subscribed to the constructivism school of questioning by making use of probing questions and motivate learners to question things.Children are given opportunities using questions to exchange of ideas. They also use primary sources to enrol data and create data opportunities for children to interact with physical world. These teacher inquire about learners ' understanding of concepts at different stages of the learning process and give necessary guidance for pupils to learn.
Student autonomy and intiative are accepted and encouraged and use of cognitive terminology such as classify ,predict ,create and so on ,when framing tasks by assisting children by giving them clues when they get stucked in trying to solve problems. Relate content pupils learn to their environment when teaching many ways of solving problems.
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