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ERIC Number: ED550138
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 252
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2672-0079-2
Constructivist Education and Epistemological Development in Online and Face-to-Face Higher Learning Environments
Pruitt, Rebecca J.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Oklahoma State University
Scope and Method of Study. This study examined two sections of a course in child development, one online and one face-to-face, to determine similarities and differences between the two related to constructivist education and constructivist processes. Course documents, instructor reflections, online discussion forum text, student-instructor electronic communication, and participant interviews were data sources. Participant data was divided into two groups (face-to-face student data and online student data) for separate analysis and then brought together for comparison. The study was grounded in the theory of constructivism as postulated by Piaget (1970) and informed by the framework for women's epistemological development created by Belenky, et al. (1997) entitled "Women's Ways of Knowing." Findings and Conclusions. Constructivist education themes included attending to the individual, facilitating inquiry, facilitating meaningful investigations, facilitating dialogue, and introducing disequilibrium. Constructivist process themes included interest, questioning, thinking about thinking, social interaction, cognitive disequilibrium, sense making, and theory building. Themes for each course section were more similar than different, indicating that the online environment does not preclude the use of constructivist education principles. The lens of the "Women's Ways of Knowing" (Belenky, et al., 1997) framework revealed additional implications for teaching from a constructivist perspective that include the assessment of epistemological development as a way to inform the type and quality of the application of constructivist education principles in both online and face-to-face learning environments. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A