Editor's Note: How Do Learners Learn?
How do learners learn? A rich and growing body of literature argues that learningis more meaningful when learners construct their own knowledge, following tenetsof the learning theory known as constructivism.
This issue of SEDLetter explores constructivist practices for learners of allages. The discussion opens with "The Practice Implications ofConstructivism." This summary of the constructivist learning theory is byWesley A. Hoover, a SEDL vice president who directs SEDL's Eisenhower SouthwestConsortium for the Improvement of Mathematics and Science Teaching, where staffconduct constructivist-based teacher professional development programs in theSouthwestern Region. "Resourcesfor Constructivism," a selection of information products produced byeducation research facilities across the country, also appears.
What does a constructivist classroom look like? Perhaps it resembles the learningenvironments of science specialist Joyce Tate and performing arts specialistKimberly Bissell. They both teach at the J. S. Clark Magnet School, amathematics, science, and computer academy for primary school pupils in Monroe,LA, and describe their teaching methods in "Is It Constructivism?" by SEDLettereditor Mimi Mayer. Artwork by J. S. Clark students brightens SEDLetter as well.During 1995-96 students produced Weather and the ABCs, a book involving nearlyevery J. S. Clark student. Kindergartners through second graders drew weatherscenes while third and fourth graders dreamed up a weather-related word for eachletter of the alphabet. Fifth and sixth graders researched the weather words andembellished the youngest children's drawings with fitting illustrations. We'repleased to share this delightful marriage of science and art with our readers.
The issue closes with SEDL On-Line where David Foster, a SEDL senior technologyassociate, reviews New Community Networks: Wired for Change by community networkadvocate Douglas Schuler. Schuler explores the uses of technologies to explorelinkages among individuals, resources, and institutions within communities.
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