From Behaviorist to Constructivist Teaching.

Alpers, Jessica

ET-Educational Theory and Practice

Scheurman, G. (1998). From Behaviorist to Constructivist Teaching. Social Education, 62(1), 6-9.


Summary: Scheurman begins this article by explaining that in a given subject, when the constructivist view is applied deep understand of the topic develops and rigorously defensible beliefs about important disciplinary issues are developed. This is enhanced because student view the problems from different perspectives, and come to develop their own views. This is where knowledge is constructed. Teachers are able to be both transmitters and managers of knowledge. Transmitting occurs when a lecture is given, textbooks are read, and then that knowledge is used in an activity. Managing might looks more like “chunking” information, and helping students to build connections and their own thinking processes. Scheurman further describes the teachers as facilitators or collaborators. This means monitoring the “classroom learning and participate actively with students in its evolution.” Ending with some connections and concerns, one being how the movement to constructivism abandons the traditional instruction and assessment models. It is a challenge that would need to be overcome.

Evaluation: This is a good article that describes different ways teachers can teach. For those wishing to be more involved in their classrooms, and less lecture driving this article gives a good explanation of how to begin. This article is primarily directed at social studies classes, but it can be applied to any number of subjects.

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