Role of the Teacher

Teacher working with a small group

In a constructivist classroom the teacher:
-decides what concepts he/she would like the students to learn
-starts with the whole picture and lets the student construct the parts
-spends most of his/her time thinking of questions that will cause his/her students to think
-works on finding activities that allow students to wonder and question what they know
-brings in activities that are relevant to the students and spark their curiosity
-builds a bridge between previous knowledge and the concepts students are learning
-allows student questions to guide the learning process

Teacher guiding students during a lab experiment

Creating Experiences

Elementary students working together with hands-on materials

Students working in a group; discussing their ideas

The constructivist teacher looks for activities or experiences he/she can provide the to students.

Discovery Learning:
-a teacher who uses Discovery Learning as a philosophy in
his/her classroom will provide hands-on learning experiences
-students are asked to question and ponder questions about
the materials
-students construct knowledge based on their observations
of materials
-teachers and students discuss what was learned
-teacher poses knew questions to guide student thinking

The teacher uses physical objects to enhance the learning
-Primary Sources: are objects that came from people living
in that period of history (i.e. journals)

-Students need to share their knowledge in small groups
-Teachers need to lead whole group discussions
-In discussions different points of views are valued
-This helps students to solidify and revise their learning

Students working to make the community better

Constructivist Assessment

Students conducting a science experiement

The constructivist teacher looks at assessment of knowledge differently from a traditional teacher. A traditional teacher creates a test to assess that they student “knows the right answer”. A constructivist teacher asks the students to create a project to illustrate what they have learned. The teacher starts with what concept he/she wants the students to learn and ways that demonstrate the student has learned that concept.

-Written Projects:
Journals, Poems, Legal Briefs, Diaries, Songs, Interviews, Plays

-Visual Projects:
Posters, Timelines, Board Games, Models, Cartoons, Pictorial Maps, Concept Maps, Webcasts, PowerPoint Presentations

-Performance Projects:
Role Plays, Dances, Acting Plays, Concerts

-Problem Solving Projects:
Community Issues, Treasure Hunt, Math Problems, Classification, Science Experiments

Students acting in a play

Book created by a student of their writings