Constructing knowledge

When designing learning, the nature of the learning objective will largely determine the approach you use.

Teaching and learning models that are effective in meeting these types of learning objective are often referred to as ’social models’.

These sequences include models that require learners to work collaboratively, sometimes learning from each other and the teacher providing scaffolded support to address misconceptions, acting in both teaching and facilitation modes.

Models include:

  • constructivism;
  • group problem solving;
  • role-play;
  • dialogic teaching.

Developers in this area include Piaget, Vygotsky, Dewey and Shaftel.

A constructivist approach can challenge and address misconceptions. Learners are asked to make explicit their thinking about a particular notion or idea. This will often reveal a range of ideas. Learners are then challenged to consider what would happen in a particular circumstance for each of the ideas. Following this learners are asked to rethink their ideas in light of what actually happens.

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