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  • UW-Madison School of Education
    Moodle tutorials and documents that may be helpful Moodle support at UW Madison Moodle docs at Moodle org Using Moodle a book by Jason Cole Teacher documentation at Moodle org Skip Navigation Navigation Home Site blogs Site news Courses Coun Psy CounPsy 002 000 f11 Skip Main menu Main menu Site news Welcome to our site Its purpose is to support online instruction for courses and programs at the UW

    Original URL path: https://moodle.education.wisc.edu/ (2013-02-04)
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  • UWSoE: Blog
    in Should Schools Adopt a Constructivist Approach to Education critics have argued that the constructivist approach is inefficient The critics think that the students waste time with incorrect discoveries before arriving at the correct one They believe that there is not enough time to use constructivist learning while trying to teach the students all the material that should be mastered within a given year I think that the best way for students to learn is by making mistakes in a hands on way When a student is challenged with material that tests their past beliefs the best way to learn is to see it for themselves As seen in Can We Believe with Our Eyes on the Annenberg Foundation s Website most students learned the best when they had to figure out how to do a task on their own in a trial and error situation Critics also claim that mastery of rich networks of facts in mathematics chemistry and physics are needed first in order for students to develop higher order modes of problem solving thought within these areas While this may be true in some aspects I agree with supporters of the constructivist approach to education in that that the only lasting education is one that promotes higher modes of thought and action rather than storage of facts Ms Herd s use of the constructivist approach to education along with her own personal continuance to work and learn in a knowledge rich environment has persuaded me that she without a doubt deserves the Golden Apple teaching award Sincerely Tessa Warner Permalink Show comments Comments 0 Making Sure the Golden Apple Doesn t Fall too Far from the Tree by Andrew Jacob Seidman Sunday 2 December 2012 09 56 PM Anyone in the world Deciding who deserves the Golden Apple Award is a matter that deserves serious analytical discussion and thinking Awarding the appropriate teacher with the prestige money and professional advancement requires that both instructors be taken into serious consideration Ms Herd s teaching approach will encourage the most remembering of important information Constructivism a child centered approach to education that is defined by student participation in hands on activities and extended projects that are allowed to evolve in accordance with the students interests and initial beliefs is rooted deeply in her teachings Windschitl Hirsh Through the Tennessee Valley Project students have become more in control of all aspects of their learning Students decide how much they want to take Ms Herd According to Piaget and Vygotsky children learn through active experiences Piaget painted a child as a scientist eagerly exploring his environment and trying things out for himself Similarly Vygoytsky proposed a sociocultural theory with children learning through interactions with other people Ms Herd s approach covers both and is therefore more adapt at addressing learning issues Through the Internet SOS her students create a rural connection to the outside world By collecting water from all over the nation and from their local community reciprocation and the sharing of information occurred which helps promote preparation for future learning Furthermore while both approaches will undoubtedly improve problem solving Ms Herd s teaching style seems more adept at doing so As previously mentioned preparation for future learning is integral in both simultaneously teaching students and preparing them for later problem solving According to the article Should Schools Adopt a Constructivist Approach to Education supporters of the constructivist approach propose a fact based teacher centered approach is itself inefficient because of the sheer number of facts that compose any meaningful domain and because the facts change with new discoveries Vygotsky s zone of proximal development concept postulates that when teachers can create a supportive environment for a student to learn a more difficult concept social scaffolding occurs Further in line with Piaget a student needs to be active and experience things themselves Going against E D Hirsch s theory that constructivist classrooms will encourage faulty attempts and not hold students as accountable for making a logical rational approach that will most likely work the first time it seems that Ms Herd is allowing her students to try things out and test the water the way they want She says that the students have figured out their own system and have been proficient at their approaches This is because constructivist teaching is less about the sequencing of events and more about responding to the needs of a situation as teachers must employ a sophisticated range of strategies to support individual students understandings as they engage in the problem based activities Windschitl Hirsch Although not totally hands off this constructivist approach has allowed Ms Herd to have her students become engaged via an active understanding of the concept Although Ms Herd says that it was scary to give up the feelings of control it has worked out for the best Her approach to assessments is novel remarkable and deserves serious credit By allowing students to demonstrate anything they have learned in this project be it a diagram a model an oral presentation they have the freedom and ability to do the thing they re most comfortable with to show what learning is taking place Not all learning can be regurgitated through a multiple choice exam and it severely limits students who can t demonstrate learning in a formulaic place Since learning is the main goal then Ms Herd s approach is the best one Students should have the freedom to express themselves in the most positive manner whether be it orally or through paper Finally peer evaluations hold each other accountable and also provide a real life assessment tool how well do you work with others Ultimately Ms Herd best promoted transfer and preparation for future learning By allowing her students to both take water samples from all over the country and locally to get a more global understanding of water quality more enduring concepts can be imprinted within the students mind The situation and project became salient and gained intrinsic value within the students which is critical for interest and the formation of active interpretation Given her less than ideal situation in a poorer rural part of Tennessee Ms Herd has broken down stereotypes and barriers that would usually hinder these students from receiving the best education possible Furthermore she has optimized their time in education giving them an active and constructive way to approach school and learning Therefore I believe that Ms Herd deserves the Golden Apple Award Just imagine the possibilities Permalink Show comments Comments 0 And the winner is by Andrea Marie Radi Sunday 2 December 2012 09 20 PM Anyone in the world I select Ms Baker as the winner as the winner of the Golden Apple award I believe Ms Baker has the best teaching and instructional methods to better her students education and learning process As discussed in the Can We Believe Our Eyes video the teaching process is changing drastically as we learn more about students Teachers are discovering that students who were once thought to be empty vessels are coming into the classroom with ideas and teachers need to take students preconceived notions into account when teaching Students do not learn best when they are simply told to memorize things but they apply them and are able to attach what they have learned to a meaningful experience While hands on experience is important it needs to be valuable experiences that will change what students already know As discussed in the video students come into the classroom with their own views and believe that their views are right If they are simply told they are wrong they don t necessarily believe their teacher or the scientific evidence they need to experience it in order to develop a new way of seeing things While Hirsch argued that this method of teaching wastes time with insufficient discoveries it is important for students to make discovering along the way that disprove their previous notions and make room for them to accept new ones This method of teaching does not ask students to memorize theories that they do not necessarily agree with or believe in but rather it allows them discover these theories for themselves and provides the students with a memorable experience that they can attach the theory to The students are more actively engaged in this model of learning and all in all it fosters better learning This is why I believe that Ms Baker is so successful in her teaching She allows students to take what they believe and test it out as demonstrated by her balloon car experiment She lets them first experiment to see if the students beliefs are correct and allows them to see the evidence first hand that disproves the theories that they entered the classroom with She allows students to experience the trail and error process in order to come to an answer and in the process build sronger problem solving skills They worked together to see what worked and what did not and were able to build upon their newly discovered knowledge to make better balloon cars Ms Baker asked her students questions along the learning process so that they can develop ideas as they go along and experiment to discover why certain ideas worked better than others In the end her students were able to learn a great deal while attaching it to a memorable experience They will remember what they learned better than just straight memorization because they got to learn it first hand in person not just through text They will remember that ah ha epiphany moment and why it occurred and carry that knowledge with them This style of teaching puts the ownership of learning on the kids and makes them responsible for their knowledge It gets them more active in the classroom and thinking about what they are learning instead of just reading it The students are allowed to express and test their ideas and build their own logic By building their own knowledge students are able to better recall what they have learned because they were the ones who discovered it not some scientist in a textbook In addition her students will be able to take what the they have learned from this experiment and apply it to other situations If given another situation involving force they know what factors limited and propelled force in their experiments and can apply there factors to a new situation The learning is more applicable to broader contexts because they have tested it first hand and learned through experience not just text They have already applied knowledge to build the balloon car and can now take that knowledge and apply it to other situations and have their experiences with the balloon car to fall back on as a reference While I believe that Ms Herd did a great job of teaching her students I think that their learning process about water could have been slightly more structured Ms Baker broke the balloon car experiment down into multiple steps so a different factor could be tested one at a time Students tested multiple aspects regarding the balloon car and all learned about the different aspects In Ms Herd s class the students decided who would do what and some students may have not gotten to experience every aspect of testing water quality Also students in Ms Herds class did not get to use trial and error to test their previous beliefs and develop new ones They recorded data as they tested water samples but didn t seem to analyze the data to see why the pH level was higher in different streams or test their beliefs about what bodies of water would have higher pH levels Students did not get to build problem solving skills through this experiment because they weer not presented with a question or problem that they could use trial and error to solve They did not use a structured question or theirown beliefs as a foundation for the experiment I believe that testing your own beliefs and figuring out the explanation of why they are proven or disproven is one of the most important parts of learning It s being able to explain WHY things are the way they are not just WHAT they are When students can explain why they show a greater understanding and can apply that knowledge to further situations While Ms Herd s students became very knowledgeable about water and will probably remember the results of this experiment very well I don not believe that the skills that they learned could be very easily applied to a different topic You don t test too many other substances for disovled oxygen content The range of Ms Herd s experiment was very limited Additionally Ms Baker s balloon car experiment lasted days where as Ms Herds experiment lasted for a whole semester While there is a lot to be learned about water quality and the students tested a lot of different water samples from all 50 states there are also a lot of other scientific topics students need to learn about While the students had the responsibility of learning it could have been made into a more valuable experience through a more structured program Overall I believe that Ms Baker is the stronger teacher and has taught her students through valuable experiences that they will remember and be able to apply in the future By letting her students use problem solving skills to build logic for themselves she is helping build stronger students And by asking her students to actively think about and explain the results of the experiment as they discovered them I believe she has created active learners in her classroom that will remain active learners in the future Permalink Modified Sunday 2 December 2012 09 32 PM Show comments Comments 0 The Golden Apple Award by Benjamin Reid Okun Sunday 2 December 2012 09 03 PM Anyone in the world After much consideration I believe that the Golden Apple award should be given to Ms Herd of the Tennessee Valley Project While both Ms Herd and Ms Baker use a constructivist approach to education I thought Ms Herd s approach did a better job encouraging the remembrance of information while improving the children s problem solving and future learning Mark Windschitl explains that a core value of the constructivist culture is collaboration Through collaboration the students are able to participate and respond to other s thinking as well as convey their own opinions Ms Herd masterfully employs this collaborative learning environment by splitting up her class into a bunch of groups and having them rotate between the microscopes computers and water testing Ms Herd explains that the students have developed their own system where she does not have to instruct them as much By working together the students are more interested and motivated to succeed which fosters a more positive environment in which students remember important information Also by hearing multiple perspectives of group members the students are gaining valuable problem solving skills that enables them to challenge and respond to one another while ultimately reaching a solution Ms Herd was fearful of the potential lack of discipline her students would have after giving them so much freedom However the video Can We Believe Our Eyes explains that students who undergo hands on learning may have an increased interest level in the subject matter Since the students brought in their own water samples and decided the goals they set out to achieve they were all very interested and invested in the project they were doing These aspects along with the high level of hands on interactivity show how the students were engaged in what they were learning and were quite cooperative Instead of teacher centered learning in which Ms Herd just lectures to the class she is employing a student centered environment where she is more easily able to understand the process in which children learn In addition I believe the manner in which Ms Herd assesses the students provides for adequate preparation for future learning Ms Herd explains that having children simply bubbling in an answer on a test is contradictive to how she encourages creativity and individuality of her students Instead Ms Herd has her students demonstrate and explain their project through an oral presentation giving them the freedom to express how their learning was taking place Ms Herd also uses peer evaluations which gives students the opportunity to provide constructive criticism and feedback of the other group members work This better enables future learning because students aren t remembering facts with a specific answer or goal in mind but rather they are presenting what they know in however they feel comfortable This method of assessment is also a better evaluator of knowledge as some students may simply be better test takes than others but might not be able to explain the information as well as others who present it Overall I thought both teachers did an excellent job of utilizing a constructivist hands on approach that really garnered interactive and collaborative learning However I thought Ms Herd s method better prepares her students for future learning improves problem solving and allows them to maintain important information As a result I recommend Ms Herd to win the Golden Apple award and feel she is a more deserving candidate Permalink Show comments Comments 0 Constructivism s Contributions to Future Learning and Greater Problem Solving by Randi Reynolds Sunday 2 December 2012 04 59 PM Anyone in the world Dear National Academy of Education I have recently been doing some research about the controversial topic of constructivism as well as how this topic relates to the transfer of learning and whether or not it will sustain future learning From the research I have done and from the various videos I have watched containing examples of different teaching styles to me it is clear that constructivism promotes future learning and

    Original URL path: https://moodle.education.wisc.edu/blog/index.php?courseid=0 (2013-02-04)
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  • Site news
    news and announcements Discussion Started by Replies Last post UW Madison School of Education Moodle Admin User 0 Admin User Wed 11 Jan 2012 02 41 PM Moodle Help Admin User 0 Admin User Fri 30 Dec 2011 01 18

    Original URL path: https://moodle.education.wisc.edu/mod/forum/view.php?id=1 (2013-02-04)
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  • UW-Madison School of Education
    to Moodle tutorials and documents that may be helpful Moodle support at UW Madison Moodle docs at Moodle org Using Moodle a book by Jason Cole Teacher documentation at Moodle org Skip Navigation Navigation Home Site pages Site blogs Tags Calendar Site news Courses Coun Psy CounPsy 002 000 f11 Skip Main menu Main menu Site news Welcome to our site Its purpose is to support online instruction for courses

    Original URL path: https://moodle.education.wisc.edu/index.php?cal_m=1&cal_y=2013 (2013-02-04)
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