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Constructivism Essay Research Paper Students need to

Constructivism Essay, Research Paper

Students need to be able to learn how to become effective problem solvers.

They should be able to identify problems, evaluate those problems and then

decipher a way to transfer their learning to those problems in a way that will

bring about a solution. If a student is able to perform in a problem solving

situation a meaningful learning should then occur because he has constructed

an interpretation of how things work using preexisting structured. This is the

theory behind Constructivism. By creating a personal interpretation of

external ideas and experiances, constructivism allows students the ability to

understand how ideas can relate to each other and preexisting knowledge. A

teacher must then recognize the importance of the cognative and social

approaches for learning and teaching so that she may aid the students’

development in constructivist learning. Both approaches are valuable because

one will emphasize the role of cognative processes and the other will

emphasize culture and social interaction in the role of meaningful learning.

One, however, may wonder how to go about enforcing these approaches.

One method is through scaffolding, providing a student with sufficient

information to be able to complete a task on his own or, to present a gradual

decrease in the amount of help availible allowing the student the capacity to

work independantly. Situated learning will present the student with a set of

learning tasks placed in realistic contexts. This will include the abilities to use

knowledge in a functioning learning approach and acquiring inert knowledge

based on the learning of isolated facts in limited conditions. Lastly, students

should, through the use of multiple perspectives, be able to view problems

and ideas. These ideas presented will then be able to shed light on the nature

of problem solving. There are three most common types of problems, the first

being well-structured problems. Well-structured problems are ones clearly

stated with known solution procedures and evaluation standards; an example

being a mathamatical process. Another type of problem are those that are

ill-structured; they are stated vaguely, have unclear solution procedures, and

vague standards of evalalution. The third type, issue problems, are

ill-structured problems that will arrouse srtong feelings in the students. The

first step in helping students become adaquate problems solvers is assuring

they realize that a problem does exist. Once a problem is identifiedm students

should be expected to understand the nature of the problem. The next logical

step would then be for those students to compile all relevant information to

their problem allowing them to formulate and carry out a solution. Lastly, the

students would then be required to evaluate their solutions working out the

imperfections, clarifying the results. Problem solving is a very necessary abilty

for a student which will, in a way, garuntee his future abilty to transfer

knowledge. The student needs a firm base understanding of the problem

solving concepts to induce a positive transfer of his later ideas. He should be

able to recognize the need for different problem solving techniques and how

to relate and separate theories in his knowledge. The teacher should be able

to present the starting grounds to enable her students a method of producing

the solutions to their problems.


Snowman, J., & Biehler, R. (2000). Psychology Applied to Teaching (9th

edition) Boston, MA: Houghton Miflin Company.