Using Constructivism as an Alternative to Teacher-Centered Instruction
Case Studies of Family and Consumer Sciences Teachers in their Classrooms are Included.
Constructivism is the idea that learners “actively try to organize and make sense” of information (Ormrod, 2012, p. 154). To do so, students “must individually discover and transform complex information” (Slavin, 2012, p. 218). Students compare new information with what they already know, and revise their understanding. Active learning is a focus of the constructivist classroom, so the instruction is most often student-centered. Students construct their knowledge instead of soaking up or only record information (Eggen & Kauchak, 2013). This means that teachers help students to make sense of new information rather than merely lecturing or controlling all of the learning activities (Noddings, 2008). This chapter will help you to understand constructivism through two teacher-centered case studies, and it will discuss alternative teaching methods that align with constructivism.