Thursday, 16 March 2006

Constructivist contamination

by Clark Quinn via XplanaZine

I’d felt that in the constraints of higher education and industry, where timing is critical, overt constructivism was a luxury for K12. [my emphasis]

"Timing" is the keyword which attracted my attention to Clark's article (well his name is the other reason). Unfortunately, I did not found him elaborate on this.

To me, timing has two aspects which may influence the success of learning. I suppose it is similar to milestones in project. On a broader level, there should be "synchronising" points where anyone in a team should get to at the same time, e.g. deadline for assignment. On a micro-level, it is always better to let individual to manage how they use their time. Micro-managing everyone's time obviously will be counter productive except in factory line-production environment. (Ooops, I forgot to mention that I don't agree that education should be factory production - although it still is!)

Looking timing in this way, I don't see why constructivist philosophy may be hindered. As long as we can manage to give sufficient time for the learners to explore and reflect on the material presented, the internalisation of the concepts can occur quite effectively.

The role play simulations supported by Fablusi stress on this quite a bit. We ask team to play a role - so that players are forced to articulate the reasoning in acting out the role to the team. We also have tasks which are due at time set by the moderator so that the players will be reaching similar milestones at about the same time.

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