The apprehension many children feel towards their schoolwork can dissapear once it starts making much more sense. This is the aim behind constructivist teaching methods.
Using constructivist theory when communicating is essential to ensure the listener constructs an image in their mind as close as possible to the one being described.
constructivist teaching: making hard stuff seem easy.
By applying a Constructivist approach to Teaching, your tutor will help make school work much easier for your child, even if it previously seemed complex or difficult.
"I finally worked it all out..."
Despite his brilliance as a leader, Richard Branson admits he has poor understanding of the more ‘boring’ aspects of business. Even at the age of 50, he did not understand the difference between the financial concepts of ‘net’ and ‘gross’. This changed one day when one of his associates drew him a diagram of fish in the sea with a net over some of them in the middle, explaining: “The fish here which have been pulled into the net are the profits you’ve got left after expenses.” When it was explained to him in a way he could compare with something he already understood, Branson announced “I finally worked it all out”.
How do we make sense of new concepts?
According to Constructivist Learning Theory, the way our mind makes sense of new information is by linking it to something we already understand. It is important however that those 'links' are accurate. Making sense of the unfamiliar by the use of analogies is often the most helpful starting point when trying to explain relationships between concepts which are foreign and those which are familiar. Using comparative explanations (including analogies, metaphors and even parables) has long been used as a powerful communication tool to bridge gaps in knowledge and build stronger understanding.
How do we build knowledge into understanding?
Learning however is a progressive construction process. Making sense of our experiences requires our mind to not only understand different concepts, but attach them together like jigsaw pieces to create a continuously expanding picture. When pieces are missing, the picture remains incomplete. When joined incorrectly however the picture becomes confused and distorted. Good Teachers know that creating clarity from confusion requires communicating knowledge by constructing the right pieces in the right order. In Education Psychology, this concept is known as ‘Constructivist Teaching Theory’ and utilizes the concept of ‘scaffolding’ the learning processes.
What is Constructivism and the Constructivist Teaching Approach?
To use an analogy; a good Teacher applies a structured constructivist learning process in a similar way that good Engineers, Architects and Builders construct a house. If the bricks of our children’s learning are not connected piece by piece it creates gaps in their knowledge. If the walls of their knowledge are not built around a constructivist learning framework, it creates weakness in their understanding. If their understanding is not supported by a solid foundation of constructivist teaching, it will crumble under the weight of assessments. When the learning process is supported by a constructivist framework however it converts nonsense into sense, disorder into order and confusion into clarity. To put it simply; constructivist teaching strategies makes hard stuff seem easy!
One of the most crucial elements of our tutoring philosophy is that both the cognitive (thinking) and emotional (feeling) parts of a student’s mind must be nurtured and guided for efficient learning to be reflected by outstanding achievement. To understand more about our other areas of learning we focus on, please refer to the short articles below:
Your tutor will identify your child's strongest 'intelligences', establish their individual learning style and adapt teaching methods accordingly for best results!
Your tutor will progressively and strategically deepen your child’s understanding of subject material by developing their Higher Order Thinking Skills.
Your tutor will focus heavily on boosting assessment scores by improving your child’s exam taking and assignment competencies, as well as IT and Literacy Skills.