When I first began my investigation of constructivist theory, I sought to understand the theory and consider how it may be incorporated within my teaching. This came about due to my reliance on a teacher-centered method of instruction. From my gathered research, I can ascertain that the implementation of constructivist teaching strategies have had a positive impact on my performance as a teacher.
Additionally, my students responded positively to the changes that I made with my teaching strategies. Now I believe, it is essential for them to co-exist in harmony in an educational setting.
Ultimately, it was at my discretion how I structured a lesson. There were situations that called for a move from a student-centered approach to a teacher-centered approach in order to accomplish my objectives. I had to judge the approach taken for each lesson and quickly found that what may have worked in one class, certainly did not work with another.
Reflecting Constructivism on my Work
I observed ways that students were:
- Positively impacted by changes in my teaching methods.
- Actively engaged in problems presented to them.
- Excited in finding solutions to these problems.
- Their cognitive abilities were challenged, and they
- incorporated information from another discipline,
Additional conclusions to my findings can be drawn by an examination of the descriptors of constructivist teaching as they were applied to my teaching practices.
- regarding student autonomy and initiative,
- regarding student inquiries through questioning,
- regarding the use of raw data and primary sources,
- regarding the construction of relationships and metaphors,
I viewed these four descriptors as central components of a constructivist teaching environment, ultimately becoming integral concepts that affected the shift to student-centered learning environments.
I relinquished control in my classroom, allowing students freedoms that I had never presented. An example of this would be: allowing students to use my laptop while researching images for their lessons. I observed a shift in the structure of my classroom. It became less rigid and I served to assist students with their needs, rather than merely have students work on a problem that I presented, confined to the methods I dictated.
I saw this as a crucial goal of constructivist teaching. I created a learning environment where I acted as a facilitator of student inquiry and student investment with the learning objectives. This was probably one of the more difficult descriptors to observe; however, there were multiple instances where students verbalized their connections on newly acquired knowledge to prior knowledge.
By Qurat-ul-Ain Khalid