06 March, 2014
Out of the practical experiences I have done thus far my first prac stands out above the rest. Coming from an era where the teacher was the one who did most of the talking in the classroom and the student was the one who listened, I soon discovered that the modern day classroom had changed somewhat. My mentor was at least ten years my junior but I learnt so much from her. To be honest I had never seen a problem with the way I was taught. I mean I know my times tables and I can spell (without reaching for a calculator or a dictionary).
However the more I thought about how I was taught the more I began to realise how boring it was, writing endlessly in my exercise books, copying what ever my teacher wrote on the blackboard. It was during this practical experience that I was first introduced to Constructivism. I was able to see firsthand how important it is to ensure students make a connection to what they are being taught and relate it to their own experiences. The diversity in this composite class was at times challenging and required me to use a number of strategies throughout a lesson in an attempt to keep students engaged and interested. An important lesson I learned during this experience was to ensure that all students learning needs are catered for even if that means providing a number of different activities that will in the long run see all students reach the same outcome. Since that very first experience I have come across many theorists and I have to say both Jerome Bruner and John Dewey would be my favourites. They see students as individuals who all learn differently, depending on their own life experiences. Bruner sums it up perfectly in the following clip.