An Educational Theory that I am familiar with and that forms the foundation for much of my planning and teaching when on placement, is the Constructivist Theory.
Constructivism is a theory based on learners constructing their own understanding and knowledge of the world, through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences.
I am an advocate of this theory because I believe that learners learn best through active participation, rather than being passive recipients of knowledge. I find that the structures of many constructivist models (i.e. 5E’s model) enhance the learning experience. Constructivist models allow me to effectively incorporate higher order thinking, peer teaching and autonomy opportunities in my teaching. I also believe that the inclusion of reflection in the learning experience further enhances the quality of student learning.
During my early studies, I was introduced to the Behaviourism theory. Behaviourism is a theory of learning based on the idea that all behaviours are acquired through conditioning.
I believe that early theorists’ approaches, such as those of J.B Watson and B.F Skinner, are somewhat outdated. I do however, advocate behaviourism based systems of rewards and consequences, as part of an effective behaviour management plan.
The assumption of many behaviourism theorists is that behaviours can be unlearned. Having worked with ASD and ADHD students, I am not convinced that this belief is totally accurate.
Thanks for taking time to read my views on Constructivism and Behaviourism. I would love to hear other’s views on the subject.
Education Broadcasting Corporation. (2004). What is Constructivism? Retrieved from http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/constructivism/