The Relationship Between Constructivism, Discovery and Experiential Learning

Marlonsson, Snow

Splan, R. K., Porr, C. S., & Broyles, T. W. (2011). Undergraduate Research in Agriculture: Constructivism and the Scholarship of Discovery. Journal Of Agricultural Education52(4), 56-64.
Splan, Porr & Broyles (2011) describe experiential learning and constructivism as aligned. Their relationship is that constructivism is concerned with the underlying epidemiological aspect of knowing/ discovering. Experiential learning is the process by which minds engage in constructionism. Further, discovery is the link between these two ideas; experiences spark discoveries that provide the information for knowledge construction. The authors convey the importance of authentic, student led learning that is active and led by social facilitation. This article investigates the role of experiential learning prevalent in University-level agriculture programs to the mind’s ability to construct knowledge through discovery. Specifically, the article explores ways to use constructionism in undergraduate research.

Marlonsson, Snow


Chant, R. H., Moes, R., & Ross, M. (2009). Curriculum Construction and Teacher Empowerment: Supporting Invitational Education with a Creative Problem Solving Model. Journal Of Invitational Theory And Practice1555-67.
Chant, Moes and Ross (2009) advocate combining the Creative Problem Solving Model with the Invitational Education model to foster teacher-creativity to blunt the effects of copious standardized testing. They assert that it is administration’s role to design a curriculum thus so that teachers can exercise the freedom to delve deeper into some content despite pressure to teach to the test. The paper outlines a case study of this model at the elementary level. The goals of the study were to shift students’ work products from individualistic/ product-oriented tasks to process-focused collaborative endeavors using inviting processescharacterized by trust, optimism, care, respect and intentionality.
This article solidly illustrates its premises by referring to the case study. The ideas represent another way to break away from bird units and add complexity to lessons.
The references used to support the research were consistently old, which raises some concern about the accuracy of the brain and psychology-related research referenced in the article.   

Steve Hargadon, Director of the Web 2.0 Labs and Host of the Future of Education Podcast

Porter, Lea

DiNardo, N., (2014, September 25). Steve Hargadon, Director of the Web 2.0 Labs and Host of the Future of Education Podcast, Podcast retrieved from

This podcast is an interview with Steve Hargadon concerning his Mindshift article Escaping the Education Matrix. In this 46 minute interview, Mr. Hargadon talks about his belief that the education system is all about control  and that society uses to the education system for control. He discusses that we can reclaim education, but that it will take a commitment similar to the civil rights movement. Mr. Hargadon believes that students should be allowed to drive their own education and that true “prosperity comes from individual creativity, hard work, and people working together”. He also believes that individuals should be allowed to be in charge of their own education.

This podcast and the Mr. Hargadon’s Mindshift article  are both very relevant to this class in regards to blended learning, co-construction of knowledge, and encouraging students to be inquirers. 

Anytime, Anywhere Learning

Porter, Lea
Ray, M. (2014). Anytime, anywhere learning. School Library Journal, 60(3), 20. 
This brief article discusses why online teaching and learning are important skill sets for all 21st-century information professionals in the age of blended learning.  This is not only important for university level professionals but K-12 level teacher librarians as well. By utilizing platforms like Edmodo, Canvas, and Blackboard while at the same time curating high-quality digital resource collections, teacher librarians can become “online learning engineers and blended learning baristas”. The author of this article points out that teacher librarians are exactly the person to help teachers implement blended learning environments while instructing students how to be effective digital citizens and successful online collaborators.
As a K-12 teacher librarian, I see this article being used as an advocacy piece to share with district administrators in regards to 21st-century learning opportunities. While the article is brief, the author points to a needed growth area in the K-12 arena. 

Alejandro Aravena: My architectural philosophy? Bring the community into the process

Sullivan, M.

Ted Talk: Alejandro Aravena: My architectural philosophy? Bring the Community into the Process
October 2014. Retrieved from:

Summary: Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena shares how participatory community planning helped pose questions to address design challenges regarding low-income housing, sustainability and protection against natural disasters. He shares how the communities concerns around each situation helped them ask the right question to help them solve the problem. In one case, they developed half of a good house (40 sq. meters) instead of a too small housing project. In another, they flipped the design to repel radiation while still access natural light and encourage collaboration. In yet another, they used nature to diffuse and support naturals processes.

Evaluation: This is a wonderful metaphor for the messy process that collaboration can be, but how necessary to actually get to the right problem. I loved hearing how they arrived at a solution directly related to the needs of the community, whom had they not consulted would never have been  able to identify those needs. As a result, the stakeholders were involved and satisfied with the result, the design constraints were met, and the outcome truly innovative and graceful.