Teaching Phylosophies and Learning Theories: Constructivism
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The purpose of this paper is to identify my personal teaching philosophies and describe how those principles fit into the learning theory that I recognize as an accurate way to approach learning and teaching. I believe that there are multiple learning theories through which educators must follow in order to reach students of diverse learning styles; it would be a disservice to the student to only focus on teaching through the paradigm of one theory. Throughout the paper, however, I will discuss examples where the learning theory of constructivism has proved to accurately portray how I best learn new information and also how it will be an appropriate theory to guide me in teaching high school agriculture in a productive learning…show more content… Humans rely on others to help shape their understanding, and when two or more individuals concurrently share knowledge that was constructed as a community, Ormrod (2011) identifies it as social constructivism (p. 221).
When I think back to the agricultural courses where I most clearly experienced authentic activities and social constructivism, three classes come to mind: biotechnology and management practices in animal science, materials and fabrications and small engines. Not a day went by in these labs where I did not ask for assistance and guidance from my peers or instructor. Whether dissecting the reproductive tract of a deceased swine, practicing to weld a perfect bead on “T” joints, learning how to construct “dovetail joints” in woodworking, or diagnosing a small engine carburetor issue, I was constantly relying on classmates to help me construct knowledge through the hands-on projects. I also utilized YouTube—a great source for visual learners—for instructional videos on how to solve problems. Today, convenient access to the internet has positioned itself as the most active avenue of social constructivism.
In my experience I have found that a community of learners is wiser than the sum of its individual members. The task of the teacher—according to Kafai and Resnick (1996)—is to “mobilize community knowledge so that its members benefit from it” (p. 151). This may be accomplished in my classrooms by utilizing technology,