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MASTERPIECE2020

Constructivist Theory

Introduction

The vision of constructivism is that the individual is active, not simply receiving stimuli as touted in the behaviorist rubric. Constructivists would agree that individuals construct their own understanding of the world, engaging, grappling, and trying to make sense of things. Knowledge develops through the tasks and experiences of the learner. Nevertheless, not all educational psychologists would agree that constructivism is the panacea for learning, as you will see in your readings.

 

Objectives

To successfully complete this learning unit, you will be expected to:

 

Examine constructivism, its relationship to cognitive development and sociocultural theory and its application to instruction.

Evaluate key features of constructivist learning environments with respect to Vygotsky’s and Piaget’s principles.

Apply constructivist principles to a learning environment to support peer tutoring or cooperative learning.

Evaluate cognitive information processing by analyzing its strengths and weaknesses, applying it to a practical situation, and comparing it to behaviorism and social cognitive theory.

Studies

Readings

Use your textbooks to complete the following:

 

In Learning Theories: An Educational Perspective, read Chapter 6, “Constructivism,” pages 230–277. According to Schunk, constructivism has become increasingly applied to learning and teaching. This is especially true in the field of online learning, where students must be self-regulated to be successful.

In Educational Psychology: A Century of Contribution, read the following:

Chapter 11, “Jean Piaget, Learning Research, and American Education,” pages 251–287. Piaget was the most important developmental psychologist of the twentieth century. His work on cognitive growth is still important today.

Chapter 9, “Lev S. Vygotsky on Education,” pages 207–228. Vygotsky, who unfortunately died at age 38, was another important developmental psychologist who contributed to ideas of constructivism and other early cognitive concepts.

Use the Capella University Library to complete the following:

 

Read Kirschner, Sweller, and Clark’s 2006 article, “Why Minimal Guidance During Instruction Does Not Work: An Analysis of the Failure of Constructivist, Discovery, Problem-Based, Experiential, and Inquiry-Based Teaching,” from Educational Psychologist, volume 41, issue 2, pages 75–86. This article gives a dissenting view on constructivism. It is important for graduate students to understand multiple perspectives of learning theories.

Read Palincsar’s 1986 article, “The Role of Dialogue in Providing Scaffolded Instruction,” from Educational Psychologist, volume 21, issue 1/2, pages 73–98. This seminal article is one of the most important articles that you will read about research that works.

 

Cognitive Information Processing Evaluation

This is the third chapter of your cumulative paper on the four major learning theory categories in the psychology field. For this chapter, you will focus on cognitive information processing.

 

Cognitive information processing centers around the two-store memory model, where networks are formed in memory. Organization, elaboration, and rehearsal are processes that help form memory networks. The focus of cognitive information processing is the acquisition, storage, and retrieval of information and is a theory that is compatible with the findings in brain research and neuroscience.

 

For this paper, you are asked to examine specific aspects of the theory and compare it to the theories in your previous two chapters. Your paper should be four to five pages in length, not counting your title page or references. Papers should be double-spaced with a font size of 12 and follow APA style. Be sure to use examples from your readings and research to support your position throughout your paper. Address the following in your paper:

 

Summarize the major aspects of cognitive information processing.

Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of cognitive information processing, in general.

Apply cognitive information processing to a practical situation in your specialization. Describe the situation, how the theory can be applied, and what the expected outcomes would be.

Analyze the processes of memory and transfer in cognitive information processing.

Compare behaviorism, social cognitive theory, and cognitive information processing.

Write in a concise, balanced, and logically organized manner. Use grammar, punctuation, and mechanics expected of graduate-level composition, using the accepted form and style of the profession, including APA cited support and format.

Paper Requirements

Number of References: A paper of this length should include references. As a graduate student, you are responsible for determining the appropriate number of resources. The majority of them should be original research articles published in legitimate scientific journals. A few review or survey articles are also acceptable.

Article Distinctions: Research articles present original research, review articles discuss research already presented elsewhere, and survey articles are comprehensive review articles that discuss an entire field or area of research. If these distinctions are unclear to you, investigate them using the resources in the Writing Feedback Tool or ask your instructor for help. References to books are acceptable, but they should be kept to a minimum—probably no more than five.

APA Style: You must use proper APA style to cite and list your references. Refer to the Capella Online Writing Center’s APA Style and Formatting guidelines for more information.

Format: Use the following structure to organize your paper:

Cover page (your name, your specialization or program, title and course number, current quarter and year, instructor’s name).

Optional: Abstract.

Body of paper, including headings and subheadings over the appropriate content.

Reference list.

Refer to the APA Style and Formatting guidelines for additional formatting information.

Style: Write in the third person as an impartial narrator. Avoid the use of I, we, or you. In particular, avoid phrases like “I think” in favor of phrases like “the evidence suggests” or “research indicates.” In science, personal opinion carries no weight unless it is supported by a combination of empirical research and statistical or logical-mathematical inference.

Other Notes: Avoid long quoted passages from your source texts. Your paper should be a synthesis of your own ideas, in your own words—even if your ideas refer to the original ideas of others, in which case the references should be explicit. A paper at the graduate level should be scholarly and more than a mere summary. It should present a unique thesis or at least a significant point that you are trying to make, adding appreciably to what is already known of your topic. Your point or thesis will stand or fall solely on its strength—that is, the quality and quantity of the evidence you present.

Review the Cognitive Information Processing Evaluation Scoring Guide for the grading criteria of this assignment. You can use the resources available with this assignment to help you with your writing, including Smarthinking, the free tutorial, and writing review service. You can use Smarthinking to get feedback on your writing before submitting it to your instructor for a grade. Submit your assignment in the assignment area.