Saturday, November 15, 2008

Three Pedagogical Approaches

Three major approaches to teaching in the classroom have emerged in the past century or so.
  • The Objectivism/Behavorism approach where an emphasis is placed on cultivating desired behaviors
  • The Cognitivism/Pragmatism approach where an emphasis is placed on organization, structuring and memorization.
  • The Constructivism/Interpretivism approach where an emphasis is placed on building knowledge that is unique and specific to the learner.

Research has pointed to Constructivism as a particularly effective way to approach online learning. An emphasis is placed on interaction and engagement:
instructor < - > student < - > student < - > discipline

The constructivist approach also strongly supports active learning. Based in social constructivism of the early and mid 20th century, this approach to teaching and learning suggests that we, as instructors, do not impart knowledge, rather we help our learners to build thier own personal knowledge. We can best do that through active learning.

  1. Knowledge involves active cognizing by the individual.
  2. Knowledge is adaptive, facilitating individual and social efficacy.
  3. Knowledge is subjective and self-organized, not objective.
  4. Knowledge acquisition involves both sociocultural and individual processes.

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