Constructivist Thought

A Presentation by Group 4 : Teachnologists
Steve Zurlnick
Heather Troncillito
Carol Tompkins
Jennifer Kinsley
Lisa Warren
What is Constructivism?
 Learners use their prior knowledge to gain
understanding of a new concept.
 To make sense of a topic/concept we use both prior
knowledge and new experiences to influence learning.
The History Behind Constructivism
 Based off of social learning theories developed by
scholars such as Jean Piaget, Eleanor Duckworth,
George Hein, and Howard Gardener.
 Scholars such as Berger and Luckmann also
introduced the concept of social construction of reality
where a human being must develop their own
understanding of our social world.
 Roger Bybee used these theories to develop an
instructional model called the “5 E’s.”
A Classroom Guided By
 Teacher is no longer on stage, but instead acts as a
guide while students facilitate their own learning.
 Teachers use methods such as the 5 E’s where
investigations and activities are included under the
headings of each E which can be taught independently
or in sequence.
The 5 E's of Constructivist Learning
 Engage
• Students make connections between past and present
learning experiences.
 Explore
• Students work together to investigate the chosen
topic/concept while the teacher acts a facilitator and guides
the students.
 Explain
• Students work in groups and support each other’s
understandings through communicating their individual
experiences. The teacher then introduces the vocabulary
(labels) surrounding the topic/concept.
The 5 E's continued. . .
 Elaborate
• Students expand on the learned concepts by making
connections to their prior knowledge and the world in
which they live.
 Evaluate
• Authentic assessments are used to determine if the
students have attained understanding of the
concept/topic. This may include rubrics, portfolios,
checklists, etc. The teacher then uses this evidence to
guide future learning.
Advantages and Disadvantages to
Using the Constructivist Approach
 The advantages and disadvantages can be seen on our
mind map created on
Sample 5E Science Lesson Plan
 For our science lesson on “Parts of a Plant” please
double click on the pdf document below to open it:
 (2001). Miami Museum of Science. Retrieved February 25, 2009,
from Constructivsm and the 5 E's Web site:
 Hoover, Wesley A. (1996, August). Southwest Educational
Development Laboratory. Retrieved February 25, 2009, from The
Practice Implications of Constructivism Web site:
 Kickbusch, Ken (1996, June). Wisconsin Education Association
Council. Retrieved February 25, 2009, from Teaching for
Understanding: Educating Students for Performance Web site: