Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Behaviorist vs. Constructivist

The behaviorist theory of learning stresses individualized work. The goals and objectives for the lesson remain the same for each student. Teachers provide their students with presentations and activities to help them process, encode and store, and retrieve information and skills. The behaviorist theory uses traditional teacher-directed methods and materials. Traditional assessment methods are used as well in a behaviorist learning technique. Examples of traditional assessments include multiple choice and short answer questions. All students must meet the required education standards to be considered educated. All students must have the same set of skills.

The constructivist theory of learning stresses group work. This theory emphasizes critical thinking and problem solving. Students generate their own knowledge through experiences anchored to real life situations. Students learn through problem-oriented activities, visual formats and mental models. Learning through exploration is very important in the constructivist theory. Nontraditional assessment methods are used in this theory. Group projects, web pages, multimedia projects are a couple examples of these assessments. All students need to be able to think critically in order to succeed. This method helps students learn to cooperate and work with others, as well as create authentic learning activities related to their own lives.

My philosophy of technology and education is a mix between the behaviorist theory and the constructivist theory. I feel students need to be able to work together, to come up with the same solution to problems as others who work together. Individually students will be graded based on effort and performance. My assessment method of choice will be a combined one of both traditional exams and that of nontraditional projects and presentations. I think by incorporating both of these views into your teaching will help educate students to be more social oriented, as they will have to be with their jobs, but also responsible enough to accomplish the task at hand.