Case Study #1

Amal Ghanimah
Zawlocki
Instructional Psychology

The problem in this case study is whether the lesson given to the inductive group or to the
presentation cum illustration group resulted in better learning. The differences in the lessons lie
in the learning science behind them.
The Presentation cum illustration (PCI) group studied the textbook with the tutorial help
of their instructor, who illustrated the different specimen structural characteristics by showing
them to the class.
The inductive group were given a botany lesson that utilized components of the
constructivism learning theory. This theory emphasizes the active role of the learner in building
understanding and making sense of information. Two important aspects of the inductive group’s
lesson that indicate it is a constructivist approach are that the learners were active in constructing
their own knowledge and they used social interaction during this knowledge construction
process.
The way in which this group was active in constructing their own knowledge is they were
given a large number of specimens and it was their responsibility to put them into different
classifications based on the structural characteristics of the specimens. Concept attainment was
utilized when their instructor gave them the specimens to be categorized, but allowed the
students themselves to attempt the categorization. She gave them the scientific names of the
classifications they arrived at, which is concept labeling. They eventually learned to categorize a
specimen based on identifying any relevant structural characteristics, and they learned the
irrelevant characteristics to ignore.
This group used social interaction while constructing knowledge by working with a
partner during their process of observing and categorizing the specimens. These pairs also came
together periodically to share their classifications and the labels for them. When paired with
student driven learning, social interaction makes it necessary for learners to establish and defend
their own positions which is an important part of concept learning as well as constructivist
learning in general.

The components utilized in the inductive group’s lesson that indicated it to be a
constructivist approach lesson were absent in the lesson of the PCI group’s lesson. The inductive
group generated scores on assessments that show them retaining double the content knowledge
than the PCI group as well as the ability to identify the structures of 8 times more specimens than
the PCI group. The answer to the problem of which lesson resulted in the construction of more
knowledge is that the inductive groups lesson that used the constructivist approach resulted in the
construction of more learning.