Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Constructivism: I am jumping in......SCARY !!!!!!

Thanks to all the comments and feedbacks I received in my last post , I have decided to jump in and face my social studies class with another learning approach.

After asking them what they would be interested in to learn, I have picked a subject. As it is my first jump and I am extremely scared of height, I made the decision of giving the class only one topic. I told them today why and they were quite understanding. Although my reasons might not be the good ones, they are very simple. I want to model to the class how to find resources, how to ask questions and how to reflect on their learning.

I have looked at a topic on Music as several kids in the class had said that they were very interested in Music. As we looked at human rights in Term 2, this is the question I am going to ask the students "Evaluate the influence of protest songs on the American society in the 1960s". I have watched the video about "planning backward" that Hazel Owen suggested me in the last post (brilliant video BTW!!!!) and this is what I think the kids should aim for. As I am keen on SOLO Taxonomy, I have used the taxonomy's questions to model the inquiry.

My objective would be that the kids would pick their next topic, so that the whole class will work on different topics. I am hoping we will be able to take on the Minimally Invasive Education approach that my friend Tara Taylor-Jorgensen has been sharing with me. My wildest dreams would be to see that at the end of the topics chosen by the students, they teach the rest of the class what they have learned and create their own resources to make others' s learning a success. What I mean is that I usually created resources (e.g. dominos, card games) but this time I want the kids to be fully in charge, do everything from the planning, the delivery and the activities.

For them to be able to reflect I am hoping to see them use Mypotyfolio, an eportfolio supported by the MOE. Because I have never been taught how to reflect I had a look a bit online and I have found some questions I should ask students to answer. Your comments on these questions would be extremely appreciated as I feel walking in the dark

What did you learn?
How do you know you learned it?
What got in the way of your learning?
What helped your learning?
How did you feel?
So voilà

Your help and comments are appreciated (again!!!)

Merci de me lire



  1. Florence I have been back in the classroom with a variety of groups lately and looking at how to apply some learning from the international thinking conference. What I wonder is whether students benefit from some visible framework, organisers etc to work through topics like this. The question you've got is a strong provocation and the reflections I could see being a big help to provide direction to the inquiry. The jumping in is a great move because otherwise you'll never know. Bon chance.

  2. Good luck with this unit. Another question to consider might be: How can I further extend my learning? Encouraging students who are interested to delve even further into the topic.

  3. @louvre2012 thanks heaps, I need all the luck in the world =) your question is great and I will add it to the list

  4. Dave, I think that students need a framework at first at least, in order not to get lost with the huge amount of unknown. later on when they understand how to tackle a task they could be left without a framework....only my thoughts though