Constructivist v. Traditionalist Classroom Research Paper

Pages: 3 (773 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Teaching

¶ … Traditional and Constructivist Classrooms

To a great degree, American education has remained the same in fundamental form and function since its inception in the one-room schoolhouses that became the nation's public education system in the 19th and early 20th century. Since then, educators have experimented with various alternative educational methodologies, such as those predicated upon principles of active learning, constructivism, cognitive processes, and multiple intelligences-based frameworks. In many respects, all of those approaches represent significant improvements over the traditional education format, but many educators support constructivism in particular. As between the constructivist approach to modern education and the traditional approach, there is little question that the former is preferable and capable of being implemented in various ways even by educational systems and institutions that could not incorporate them comprehensively.

The Traditional Classroom Environment

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Since the dawn of post-Industrial Revolution education, teachers have delivered lectures to passive groups of students (Burton, Moore, & Magliaro, 2004). The other main source of substantive subject matter in the traditional classroom format is the textbook, another source of unidirectional information meant to be absorbed passively. The traditional classroom is designed to promote learning through rote memorization and to test learning by demonstrated performance on tests of information recall. Little emphasis is directed to student preferences, differences in learning styles or ability, or cognitive processes. There is equally little emphasis on adapting subject matter to the needs, interests, or abilities of learners because there is a set curriculum assigned to each grade that determines subject matter and course focus (Burton, Moore, & Magliaro, 2004).

Research Paper on Constructivist v. Traditionalist Classroom Assignment

In the traditional classroom environment, students primarily listen passively to lectures while taking notes. The instructor introduces topics and assigns readings that correspond to the lecture material. Students prepare for examinations mainly through short-term recall and rote memorization techniques. This approach to education promotes temporary retention instead of genuine and long-term learning (Burton, Moore, & Magliaro, 2004).

The Constructivist Classroom

The constructivist education model is fundamentally different from the traditional model in that it represents a complete departure from the didactic approach whereby the teacher dispenses information without substantial dynamic exchange of ideas or thoughts with students (Brooks & Brooks, 1999). Moreover, the traditional model all but ignores the importance of teaching students to how to think or how to develop critical reasoning skills (Brooks &… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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