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LearningTheoryStatement

We designed our series of lessons to be engaging and to incorporate the


areas of english, science and mathematics. These lessons focus on student
directed learning that is fun and engaging.
Our lessons are based on the theme of mini-beasts, which is underpinned by
a constructivist learning theory. Following a constructivist teaching approach
means our lessons guide the learners to be actively involved during the
lesson, therefore making meaning and knowledge for themselves instead of
just giving them the information (Marsh, 2010). The students build meaning
and knowledge from their already existing knowledge, which makes active
learning more effective than passively receiving the knowledge from the
teacher. Teachers who follow the constructivist learning theory avoid teachercentered lessons and plan for students to work collaboratively where they
encourage them to take control of their own learning (Marsh, 2010).
An important part to our lessons is our motivation and introduction.
Throughout our lesson motivations we engage students in activities that
require them to reflect on current knowledge of mini-beasts that they already
have acquired. Such motivations include showing them flash cards of different
mini-beasts and encouraging them to act like them. This avoids direct
instruction of telling them how mini-beasts act and giving them the opportunity
and freedom to show how they think the movements might be. E.g: March like
an ant, click like a beetle. This activity relies heavily on guiding the students
with questions to help them communicate their answers, which is a form of the
constructivist learning theory where the information is not directly given to
them (Kantor, R. and Madrid, S. 2007).
Following a constructivist teaching approach enables students to use critical
thinking and creates independent learners (Kantor, R. and Madrid, S. 2007). A
number of activities included within our lessons such as the mini-beast beebot
quiz, the scavenger hunt for QR codes, using book creator to generate a skip
count book and designing a mini-beast drawing on the show me app
incorporates both critical thinking and independent learning opportunities.
Constructivists believe that when students are learning it is more effective for
them to be engaged in an interactive activity such as the ones we have
chosen, where they build on their current knowledge, than just giving them
that knowledge (Kantor, R. and Madrid, S. 2007).
Collaboration is important within the constructivist learning theory. Having
hands on experiences in a social situation can expand the knowledge when
doing activities in groups (Kantor, R. and Madrid, S. 2007). Our lessons focus
on students working together in groups and being able to explore the topic of
mini-beasts creating a rich learning experience for all. Throughout our lessons
the teachers role is to ask questions and create discussions about the topic
rather than direct instruction on how to complete the task. This is why
collaboration plays an important role within the learning setting as it guides
students learning (Marsh, 2010).

The constructivist learning theory is linked to Vygotskys Zone of proximal


development, which is what students can do without guidance and what they
can do with guidance (Marsh, 2010). Our lessons provide concrete authentic
tasks where the teacher is able to scaffold the learning when needed without
the classroom becoming too teacher-centered. Throughout our lessons the
teacher will be observing where scaffolding is needed and when the learning
can be student directed.

Reference:
Marsh, C. (2010). Becoming a teacher. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson
Australia.
Kantor, R. & Madrid, S. (2007). Social constructivism in early childhood
education: An international encyclopedia. Retrieved from
http://ipacez.nd.edu.au/login?
url=http://search.credoreference.com.ipac
ez.nd.edu.au/content/entry/abceceduc/social_constructivism/0