Do you believe Constructionism brings any new ideas to the table as a theory of education? Why or Why not?
Chapter one of Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom (Martinez & Stager 2013) raised many important concepts about technology in education. One important idea was the importance of using technology effectively in schools. All to often teachers use tech devices as student pacifiers instead of a learning tool to assist students in completing a task. According to Martinez & Stager (2013), “The maker movement represents a bright spot in a world that too often uses computers biased towards the least empowering aspects of formal education.” Research shows that students learn best by creative, collaborative, hands on learning. “Knowledge is not merely a commodity to be transmitted, encoded, retained, and re-applied, but a personal experience to be constructed. Similarly, the world is not just sitting out there waiting to be to be uncovered, but gets progressively shaped and transformed through the child’s, or the scientist’s, personal experience.” (Ackermann 2001, p.7) Students need to be actively engaged in their learning and educators need to figure out ways to help engage students in their learning.
In researching resources for my blog I came upon a lot of resources about this idea of a maker movement. In the YouTube video The Maker Movement: Jeff Sturges at TEDxMidwest, Sturges shares about a maker space he helped create in Detroit. He talks about how a maker space can help people to develop core skills: creativity, problem solving, persistence, and adaptability. His belief that if we foster these core skills we will be able to do anything is a powerful idea. It’s also a belief I agree with as an educator. The core skills Sturges shares in the video are skills that can be taught, applied and reinforced at any grade level in any subject area.
Ackermann, E. (2001). Piaget’s constructivism, Papert’s constructionism: What’s the difference. Future of learning group publication, 5(3), 438. Retrieved May 20, 2015, from http://learning.media.mit.edu/content/publications/EA.Piaget%20_%20Papert.pdf
Martinez, S., & Stager, G. (2013). Invent to learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom. Constructing Modern Knowledge Press.
The maker movement: Jeff Sturges at TEDxMidwest. Retrieved May 20, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uixjclje2y