I have been focusing on two complex ideas: cultures of inquiry and learning theories. The way I understand cultures of inquiry is that they are different ways we can conduct research, such as ethnography, hermeneutics and phenomenology, to name a few (BIG words right!?). Learning theories apply more to how learners come to understand information.
The learning theory constructivism is one I would like to share in this post because I feel that, at this point in time (allowing myself to be open to change), my teaching is aligned with this theory. Author Weller (2011) states that constructivism is, “a view of learning that places the focus on the individual who constructs their knowledge through activity” (p. 8). As a teacher, specifically having taught Early Childhood Education, I allow my students to engage in their learning and take ownership of creating meaning from experiences that they have, providing them with support when needed, of course. As their teacher, it is crucial that I “understand both the demands of the discipline and the needs of the child and then to provide learning experiences to enable the student to uncover the curriculum” (Darling-Hammond, Austin, Orcutt & Rosso, 2001, p. 8). By allowing my students to jump into inquiry-based projects and centre-based activities, I am letting them choose activities that they enjoy so they can then construct meaning from the experiences they have with these activities. This can be individual, or, children can engage with teachers and other peers. I open up these activities to be approached from many different perspectives so each child can feel confident choosing an activity that they feel they will learn from and succeed. Daily 5 is an excellent way that I have incorporated choice into the classroom, so children can construct literacy meaning from activities and experiences that they prefer to engage in. Also, providing children with technology resources, such as Seesaw, allows them to construct meaning on an even deeper level by extending the learning and sharing it with others.
Until next time…
Darling-Hammond, L., Austin, K., Orcutt, S., & Rosso, J. (2001). The learning classroom: Theory into practice. Episode #1 how people learn: Introduction to learning theories (pp. 1-19). Course syllabus, School of Education, Stanford University, California, USA.
Weller, M. (2011). A pedagogy of abundance. Spanish Journal of Pedagogy, 249 pp. 223-236.