Competency 1: Synthesize Knowledge 

  • Demonstrates ability to read and understand educational literature related to Educational Technology
  • Demonstrates ability to describe fundamental theories of human learning
  • Applies knowledge of human learning, diversity, and effective pedagogy to solution of problems

 

Artifact: 531 – “Constructivism, Creativity, and Project-Based Learning”

The artifact that I have chosen to demonstrate this competency is my final paper from EDCI 531:  “Constructivism, Creativity, and Project-Based Learning”.  This paper allowed me to compare human learning theories, reflect on how I have seen them in my own life, and explore my attitudes towards them, all while synthesizing these theories with teaching styles that interest me.

Read and Understand Educational Literature

Though I have been an educator for the past 8 years, I had very little instruction in learning theories because I was “alternatively certified”.  Because of this, the learning theories presented in EDCI 531 – Learning Theories and Instructional Design were completely new to me.  The readings in the course were extremely challenging to read, and nearly assumed that the reader had a degree in Psychology.

In this paper, I was able to show that I understood the readings and remembered key facts about the learning theories discussed.  Going further I was able to show that I could apply the knowledge of the learning theories to the creation of project-based learning environments for my students.

Describes Fundamental Theories of Human Learning

This paper was the crowning achievement in this course, which as I mentioned, was very difficult for me.  Early in the paper, I discussed how Behaviorism, one of the first learning theories I read and learned about, was absolutely not the right fit for the way that I like to teach (many educators do use Behaviorism, and that is fine, but it did not fit my style).  After comparing Behaviorism to Bloom’s Taxonomy, I began to show how creativity was stifled in Behaviorism, and how/why creativity is allowed to flourish in Constructivism.

Constructivism remains interesting for me.  Though I do not fully subscribe to any one learning theory and I believe that a mix of learning styles is important, Constructivism is certainly essential to my own constructs of what teaching is about.

Applies Knowledge of Human Learning, Diversity, and Effective Pedagogy for the Solution of Problems

In this paper, I discussed Driscoll’s five learning conditions of Constructivism:

  • Complex and relevant learning environments
  • Social negotiation
  • Multiple perspectives and modes of learning
  • Ownership in learning
  • Self-awareness of knowledge construction

These were written to show how the constructivist learning style lends itself to creative and ingenuitive thinking, specifically in the solving of a problem (Project-Based Learning).  Inspiration, curiosity, passion, and creativity, all found in constructivist learning environments, push learners to learn deeply.

 

Reference:
Driscoll, M. (2005).  Psychology of learning for instruction, 3rd edition.  Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.