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Statement of Learning theory

You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.
-

Galileo

Galileo touches on Constructivism before it was labelled as a theory of learning;


the need for individuals to learn through active participation in a cooperative
learning environment (Brown, 2005) is an idea that has been around for
centuries and one that underpins this ICT project. Constructivism considers
learning as a process that includes cooperation and communication within the
classroom environment (Sharma, 2014). The theory suggests providing
opportunity for the creation of ideas and concepts that can be evaluated though
students execution and actions demonstrating understanding of the content.
The integration of ICT within our project has been used as a tool to compliment
the constructivist theory.
It is our belief that by introducing students to many different ICT tools we are
equipping them with the important technological skills they will need to function
in modern day society. Using the constructivist theory, we have encouraged
students to cooperate with their peers in order to facilitate their own learning on
the celebration of Chinese New Year. Throughout the lessons, students will
adhere to a selection of partner and group work to navigate through the diverse
range of ICT tools. It is important for teachers to act as a guide, assisting and
motivating students as they work through the assigned tasks. Careful
consideration must be taken to ensure learning rather than instruction is
reflected, allowing students to construct their own knowledge (Sharma, 2014).
In lesson two, we introduce the iPad application The Emperors Quest at the
Chinese Garden. As the constructivist model suggests, students will embark on
their own learning journey into the world of Ancient Chinese zodiacs, through the
interactive activities set on the app. Following the application, students are able
to engage in a diverse set of activities, developing their knowledge as they go
on.

Looking deeper into Vygotskys theory of Social Constructivism, we have


implemented the idea that student learning and development should be done in
a collaborative manner which reflects their culture. As Vygotsky suggests,
students learn best when undertaking a series of cognitive strategies, such as

predicting, questioning, clarifying and summarizing in order to construct


knowledge on meaningful contexts (Ozer, 2004). Throughout our lessons
students will actively participate in a number of collaborative activities, aided
with the use of ICT tools. Together, students will embark on a learning journey
using an array of mind mapping tools such as Padlet, SpiderScribe and Popplet,
story board applications, blogging sites such as KidBlog and avatar makers. The
use of these tools will encourage students to exhibit a number of cognitive
strategies, as they build their knowledge around the celebration of Chinese New
Year. Integrating ICT into the lessons has allowed us to provide a collaborative
learning environment which indeed reflects the culture of our students.
Technology plays a large role in modern society, becoming a significant part of
daily life. Younger generations have grown up with technology surrounding them;
it is part of their culture.

There are a number of benefits derived from the Constructivist theory that
enable a positive learning environment. Implementation of the theory will
encourage students to learn more through active participation, rather than
passive listening. Students are given ownership of their own learning creating
the opportunity to think, problem solve and reflect on their knowledge,
concentrating on understanding rather than memorising (What are the Benefits
of Constructivism?, 2004). Development of social and communication skills is
also evident encouraging cooperation and exchange of ideas between peers.
However, teachers and schools must be aware of implications which may arise.
Constructivism in the classroom may favour those students who are more
privileged. Students from less fortunate backgrounds may lack the tools or
technological resources and knowledge to flourish in a constructivist classroom.
Some of the quieter students may also struggle to have their voice heard when
participating in group or collaborative activities, being forced to conform to the
viewpoints of more dominating students (What Are Some Critical Perspectives?,
2004). In order to mitigate these implications we have opted for activities to be
run in smaller groups of two to three students, providing each student with an
iPad and a computer per group. Allocating a device per student and
implementing small sized groups will allow the opportunity for all students to be
actively involved and comfortable within the classroom environment. We believe
it is important that all students feel involved, valued and for most part, major
contributors to their own knowledge as they embark on their learning journey.

References
Brown, Dr Tom H. (2005). Beyond Constructivism: Exploring Future Learning
Paradigms. Retrieved from:
http://www.bucks.edu/old_docs/academics/facultywebresources/Beyond_construc
tivism.pdf
Ozer, Ozgur. 2004. Constructivism in Piaget and Vygotsky. The Fountain.
Retrieved from:
http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/CONSTRUCTIVISM-in-Piaget-andVygotsky
Sharma, R. K. (2014). CONSTRUCTIVISM-AN APPROACH TO ENHANCE
PARTICIPATORY TEACHING LEARNING. GYANODAYA: The Journal Of Progressive
Education, 7(2), 12-17. doi:10.5958/2229-4422.2014.00003.6
What are Some Critical Perspectives?. (2004). Concept to Classroom. Retrieved
from:
http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/constructivism/index_sub5.html
What are the Benefits of Constructivism? (2004). Concept to Classroom.
Retrieved from:
http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/constructivism/index_sub6.html