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ERIC Number: ED482436
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Utilizing Constructivism in the History Classroom.
Hoagland, Matthew A.
When an adult outside the classroom learns history, it almost always begins with some connection or personal interest. The learning may be haphazard, but it will probably include movies, primary sources, trips to historical sites, and contacts with others with similar interests. The result is an understanding that is actively constructed, not just passively received. Among current approaches to teaching, constructivism most closely resembles the model used by adult learners. Applying constructivist concepts to the teaching of social studies can revolutionize the learning environment, and perhaps recapture the joy of learning that is central to human nature. This paper defines constructivism and explains the theories of the educators who elaborated on it, most importantly Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky. The paper discusses the consequences of adopting constructivism in the classroom. It notes that some history subjects, such as world history, are so vast that they cannot possibly be covered completely. By focusing on relevancy and connections to modern issues, teachers can create criteria for deciding what is worth covering. The paper discusses obstacles and criticisms of constructivism. For example, it might not be a completely accurate theory of how people learn. Constructivism does not fit the current educational environment, with its push for objectivism and standardized tests. The paper includes examples of constructivist-style lessons for high school classrooms. It also describes the capstone project as a year-end activity. Contains a 20-item select bibliography. (BT)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Practicum Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A