Monday, May 28, 2012

Social Learning - Constructivism!!

When my students worked on beaded necklaces with a ceramic amulet for Mother's Day it was a social learning experience. Some students were quite eager to make a necklace and others were a little reluctant but were encouraged by their fellow students. Social Learning, where some students learn how to behave from watching other students, can also be talked about within the context of Social Constructivism which is a belief that knowledge is first learned in a social setting and then applied to other circumstances. For example, the first bead that the students threaded was how the necklace was to be made. This process (of stringing beads together) was practiced on their own and within a social context in a small group of students. Then the decision of which colour and how many beads to use was up to the students - this follows the social Constructivist learning theory where the learning is centred around the student, and the student decides on the objective/goal and what to do/or it is negotiated with the teacher. Vygotsky suggests a method of learning something new by doing what the student can do first, then challenge the student with something he/she might be able to do, and then move on to something that the student won't know how to do but will learn with assistance (Zone of proximal development). When we were making the neckalces for Mother's Day almost everyone (JK - gr. 3) knew how to thread a bead onto a piece of string, then they learned how to mold a piece of modelling clay onto or arround the string, and then they learned how to tie a knot. For some students the thing they needed to learn was how to tie a knot, for others it was how to attach an amulet to the necklace. This was learned using the zone of proximal development. Here are the results of this activity!

Beautiful Mother's Day necklace by Serina, gr. 2

More lovely necklaces for Mother's Day by Benedict, Hayden, Aiden, Joshua, Benjamin, Serina, and Natalie

No comments:

Post a Comment