Social Constructivis m script prepared by Daniele Facundo, Sheri Howard, and Buffalo Shuford – Fall 2006. Slide One: Social Constructivism Slide 2: What is social constructivism? Social Constructivism emphasizes how meanings and understandings grow out of social encounters. It is closely associated with the theories of Vygotsky, Bruner, and Bandura. Slide 3: Social Constructivism is based upon assumptions about reality: first of all, that it is constructed through human activity, and then, that it is non-existent prior to social invention. Slide 4: Social Constructivism is based upon assumptions about knowledge. It is a human product. It is socially constructed and culturally constructed. Individuals create meanings through their interactions with others and the environment. Slide 5: Social Constructivism is based upon assumptions about learning. It is a social process. Meaningful learning takes place when individuals are engaged in social activities. Slide 6: These assumptions led to the belief that young children develop their thinking abilities by interacting with adults. Children are active participants in their learning in that they are continually creating (or constructing) meaning from what the teacher or More Knowledgeable Other is teaching. Slide 7: Intersubjectivity is a shared understanding among individuals whose interaction is based on common interests and assumptions that form the ground for their communication. Therefore, social meaning and knowledge are shaped and evolve through negotiation with the communicating group. For example, a new student coming to a new school may find rules and procedures and/or social behaviors to be different from those of his former school. This student will develop new personal meanings about school and socially acceptable behaviors due to his intersubjectivity among new and different individuals and a new and different community. Slide 8: Context in which learning occurs and the social contexts that learners bring to their learning environment are both crucial. Learning within a framework of Social Constructivism can be facilitated by: a cognitive tools perspective, which is a hands-on, project-based method that results in the creation of a product; idea-based social constructivism, which is a “big-idea” approach; a pragmatic or emergent approach, which is a belief that knowledge, meaning, and understanding can be addressed in the classroom; a transactional or situated cognitive perspective, which is a belief that learning should not take place in isolation from the environment. Slide 9: Social Constructivism and Instructional Models. Instructional models based on the social constructivist perspective stress collaboration among learners and practitioners in society. Social Constructivist approaches: Reciprocal teaching – teaching to another what has been learned; peer collaboration – discussion among peers to come to a shared understanding and/or meaning; cognitive apprenticeship – learn by doing and expert modeling; and problem-based instruction – students communicating and collaborating to solve real-world, applicable problems.
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