In A Concept to Classroom: Constructivism as a Paradigm for Teaching and Learning, constructivism in a classroom setting is highly valued and is seen as an effective learning approach among students. Constructivism is a theory in which children are active in their own learning and take part in group discussions with their peers, as well as their teacher. A teacher in a constructivist-learning environment can simply ask a general question to his or her students and have them put their thinking caps on.
This approach allows students to refer to what they already know, to form new ideas and possibly arrive with several solutions to a problem and finding answers to questions being asked. To begin, there are two types of classrooms that go about their learning approaches differently, due to their beliefs about how children learn. There is the traditional classroom where much of the content learned in the classroom is attained, but not necessarily discussed and then there is the constructivist classroom where children ask questions and their questions are an important part of their learning experience.
In a traditional classroom it is likely that the teacher will leave students as they are and will be often seen working alone and using traditional learning materials, such as textbooks and workbooks; whereas in a constructivist classroom, children are working with one another and are engaging in hands on activities to help them better understand a subject matter.
Furthermore, although these two approaches have its benefits and its setbacks, coming to a decision as to which approach to use, should be made according to preference and level of comfort. For example, there are some children that feel more comfortable working alone than they do working in groups and sometimes giving a child that option can reflect how he or she intakes new information and how well a child applies their knowledge.
If a teacher for instance, is aware that a child performs better when working alone, than she would be more than likely to let that child work alone. A good teacher though, would suggest that the child work in a group even if at the end of the day the child chooses otherwise. As a teacher, it is important to keep in mind that not every student in his or her assigned classroom will be all on the same academic level.
Whether taking the traditional idea as opposed to the constructivist idea or vice versa, learning is about finding common ground; a level of balance in the classroom. In any learning environment, the teacher as well as the child is bound to learn something. It can range simply from discovering a child’s biggest fear to learning the teacher’s favorite color. Children comprehend, work, respond, and learn at their own pace and should be given options and with that, the teacher learns about her pupils and his or her pupils learn from the teacher.