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`Intriguing ways of explaining the concepts of constructivist education. Excellent analogies and examples!' - Maryellen Towey Schultz, Assistant Professor of Education, Nebraska Wesleyan University
The purpose of the Constructivist Learning Design is to offer teachers and students of teaching a way to think about organizing for learning by their students, and a way to address the teaching dilemmas of balancing the required learning of education with the real learning of students. The authors describe six elements, each representing an important process in moving constructivist learning theory into classroom practice: Situation, Groupings, Bridge, Questions, Exhibit, and Reflections. Included in these elements is a basic framework for teachers to use as they think about organizing for learning by their students, and a way to play out each of the basic processes of constructivist learning in the course of a lesson. Assessment is also incorporated into each design element rather than seeing it as an end product of closing activity.
George W. Gagnon, Jr. is the Director of K-12 Partnerships in the College of Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. He works with teacher and parent partners to support students who would be the first generation in their family to be engineers or scientists. George uses Math Models he has designed to support students in developing a conceptual understanding of mathematics. George has studied learning for thirty years as a teacher, principal, and teacher educator. Now he applies his research on constructivist learning design, appropriate assessment, and learning communities to encourage educational equity in urban public schools. George and Michelle live in Oakland, California, and are actively involved with the neighborhood public schools their children attend. Michelle Collay is a School Coach for the Bay Area Coalition for Equitable Schools (BayCES) in Oakland, California, a private non-profit organization supporting urban small school initiatives. She supports school leader development and coordinates classroom-based teacher inquiry for the purposes of improving student achievement. Previously, she worked as a faculty member and administrator in teacher preparation and graduate teacher education in public and private universities. Collay conducts seminars and workshops about professional learning communities, constructivist learning design, and portfolio development. Before completing doctoral studies in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Oregon, she taught music and mathematics in elementary and junior high school and continues to play the bassoon in local ensembles. She and her husband, George Gagnon, write, teach, and parent together and are parent leaders in their children's neighborhood school in Oakland.