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Assignment 3

Constructivist : the final reflection and Lesson Plan

Edrick Lin


ETEC 532

Dr. Diane Janes

August 17, 2018

Part 1 : Reflection

Before any lesson can start, students need to first understand what knowledge is. To acquire new information requires that
students believe said information to be true (Pritchard, 2014, p.7) and to gain such information by work instead of luck. Thus, in the
class, we should aim to develop scenarios for students to work toward gaining knowledge with minimum input from the instructor.
However, all knowledge that student gain should also have an instrumental value, else the knowledge could be considered useless.
Thus, this is where the constructivist aspect of teaching comes in, to give context and relative value to the knowledge. (Pritchard,
2014, p.17). However, it is important to consider that knowledge needs justification on how it is gained. Without such justification, the
inherent value and applicability of such knowledge can be compromised. However, how such justification is achieved can depend on
the assumption for justification as outlined by Pritchard (2014, p. 39). While in the investigation of knowledge and their justification,
one must also examine the different ways of knowing.

In the same way how a scholarly essay’s validity and integrity is supported by the sources and proper citation, any strong
belief or knowledge needs to be sourced from a way of knowing supported by justification. While examining movies such as Matrix
(1999) and A Beautiful mind (2001), we see how the main character’s belief of the world is called into question when his ways of
knowing is challenged. In the same way, the introduction of new information completes changes his belief from rational to irrational.
As teachers, we can challenge the student’s previous knowledge in the same way how Neo’s belief was challenged (Wachowski &
Wachowski,The Matrix, 1999), by introducing conflicting information and asking the students to evaluate their justification. In the
classroom, this can take place by first asking the students’ previous knowledge on a subject. Then introduce conflicting facts that can
help the student understand the flaws in the justification for their knowledge. Finally, using the new ways of knowing or other
supporting information, the students can for their own new belief that takes into account of the new knowledge. The purpose of the
first set of module was to understand how our belief is formed and inspect the methods of forming supports for our beliefs and
In Module B, we learn the ideas behind constructivism and how it relates directly to knowledge. In the case of constructivism,
knowledge is seen as dependent on reality and context of learning (Fosnot, 2005, location 155/6918). Constructivist focuses less on
the “universal” aspect of true knowledge and focuses on the individual buildup of knowledge through social interaction or interaction
with the environment to give the knowledge context. In the classroom sense, this means that students are taught to evaluate and
acquire knowledge through active action instead of passively accepting pre-determined knowledge. The role of the teachers is ,
therefore, providing incentives and environments where students can gain this knowledge (Fosnot, 2005).

However, constructivism is not without its criticism. One of constructivist’s ideas of knowledge is based on the relative
experience of the learner, which insinuates that all knowledge is subjective (Nola, 1997). In his objection to constructivist scientific
teaching, he points out the problem of experience as a constructivist process, since this would lead to the discrediting of most
scientific discoveries that cannot be experienced. Furthermore, much of the scientific theories, which claims objectivity, are actually
socially created mental constructs by the scientific community (Nola, 1997). Thus, constructivist ideals of scientific teaching may not
be the teaching of theories explaining the natural phenomenon, but merely the collective ideals of the scientific community. However,
I believe much of Nola’s constructivist argument against science rests in the philosophical aspect. Classroom practice of
constructivism takes a less radical approach of simply the exploration of natural phenomenon: by allowing students to participate in
scientific practices of hypothesizing, experimenting and observing. In the case illustrated in Fosnot (2005), giving students the
opportunity to mess around and construct their own knowledge (location 1649/6918). Yet students will only engage with the
opportunity when they are presented with a case which they find engaging with varying avenue of exploration and allows for
discussion among peers.

Similarly, constructivist classroom for the English is different in in approach in that students have much more engagement
and opportunity to decide classroom activities and, to a certain extent, the content.. (Fosnot, 2005, location 2182/6918). As outlined
by Lois Lanning in her book (2013), instructors are aiming to help students construct not only knowledge for the specific text, but
transferable concepts that can go across time space and context (P.62). Yet, before the implementation of the curriculum requires
the creation of the safe learning environment where students feel safe to share, discuss and make mistakes (Fosnot, 2005,
2213/6918). However, applying constructivist ideals in classrooms vs an online environment is very different.

During the Research Café, where constructivist ideals are practiced in an online environment, guidance is less evident and
feedback often is not immediate. Due to the nature of long-distance or asynchronous learning, constructivist ideals require much
more preparation and anticipation of learner’s direction for learning. In a classroom environment, instructors can often immediate
adjust to discussions directions and deviations. However, in an online environment, this is not possible until students have at least
partially completed the knowledge construction process. The exploratory process is often limited to certain themes/topics and papers
that is limited by the background. Often, the café experience boils down to reading specific papers and reflecting on what is read
without too much input of personal experience. Such experience is also outlined by Chen and Bennett when they studied the
Chinese student’s experience with online constructivist pedagogy (2012). This related back to the personal nature of a discussion
open environment since a student is only as willing to discuss as he or she feel that her input are valued.

In a classroom, how can students’ learning process be evaluated? The nature of the constructivist classroom calls for greater
student role in driving the classroom learning experience. Thus, the same can be implied for the assessment process. Dr. Lois
Lanning describes the assessment as focusing on three major themes, the what, why and how (2013, p. 93). In this process
student’s observation of phenomenon and description of said phenomenon is the key to the assessment, which also highlights the
student’s constructivist learning process (so, 2002). The assessment should answer the what, which describes course content the
student needs to understand as part of the curriculum, the why, which describes the purpose behind the chosen course content and
demonstrate cognitive understanding of the content, and the how, which is the learning process (Lanning, 2013, p.94). However,
doing assessment in a formative collaboration is often the best approach. As shown by Research by Sarah and Yu-Ju(2016), student
grade improvement is greatest when constructivist is paired with group collaboration, especially in e-learning. Lastly, constructivist
methodology is not limited to regular instruction. Constructivist as a pedagogy should reach students with learning disability as well
(Fosnot, 2005 location 3274/6918). Ultimately, learning disability is a social construct that categories students who fail to achieve the
average of the societal norm. This is not to say that they do not benefit from constructivist learning since constructivist learning is a
collaborative effort to modify each other’s mental construct and knowledge justification.

Part 2 : lesson Plan

Teaching objective: Teaching English as a Foreign Language exploring the concept of “mood” and how to “create mood”

Text: The Hollow by Rus Buyok (from

Assumption : Students have all read the book in the previous class and is now in the stage 2/3 of the Generative Learning Model.

Students : Grade 5 students studying foreign language

Time: 1 hour 30 minutes -2 hours

Phases Lesson Breakdown Concept Tags/Guiding Assessment Resources and key concepts
Examining what Play a scene from Harry What did you feel? Students collaboratively writing
is mood (15 potter (see resources) in those moods and supports down vJNCHk
minutes) Why did you feel on a group piece of paper. Citing
those emotions while various words (formative) #Establishing preconceptions
watching the scene
#Finding Justifications
What is the Mood of
the scene? #Ways of knowing

What were some Key # Categorization

for your argument for
the mood? (AKA
which part of the
movie made u feel the

What is a mood of a
Examine the Review the text and pick What is the Mood of Students will now add the
text (15 out words the scene? different moods and evidence #Establishing preconceptions
minutes) from the text on another piece of
What were some Key paper, which will later be put side #Finding Justifications
justifications/support by side with paper 1)
for your argument for #Ways of knowing
the mood? (AKA
which part of the #Categorization
movie made u feel the

Comparison Compare between the What were some Using the previous papers, draw #Peer instruction
(15 minutes) text and the scene similarities between on a larger poster paper with the
the movie and text? text/movie side by side. Then #Social construction
draw a Vann Diagram on how
What were some mood Is presented /constructed. #Knowledge assimilation
differences in
establishing mood?

Why is the method

different for movie
and Text?
Presentation Present your findings to How are other group’s Students collectively add/debate #Cognitive Dissonance
(20 minutes) your peers (3 minutes) support for mood ideas for mood as a class by
and peers offer criticism different from yours? presenting a classroom model to #Evaluating evidence
(2 minutes) creating mood
Do you # recreating a working model
agree/disagree? Why
or why not?
Construction(40 Creating a rubric for What kind of mood do Students will create a class rubric # application of the model
minutes) grading the short scene of you want to create for marking the assignment first.
the story collaboratively. #mental construction evaluation
What are some key Students will individually write a
concept/words you short story (300 words) scene that #Summative assessment
need? creates a certain
Students will write a short mood/atmosphere
text that recreates a Note: student is
mood using key concepts graded based on how
we learned from the effective is the
text/movie. construction of the
mood based on

Student may work

together in peer
review, but works are
Final Grading Student also submit a Self-reflection and grading. #Reflection
self-assessment based on
pre-set rubric. #context of learning

#How and Why of learning


Grazer, B. (Producer), & Howard, R. (Director). (2001). A beautiful mind [Motion picture]. USA: Universal Studios.

Chen, R. T., & Bennett, S. (2012). When chinese learners meet constructivist pedagogy online. Higher Education, 64(5), 677-691.

Fosnot, C. T. (2005). Constructivism: Theory, perspectives, and practice. New York: Teachers College Press.

Hubackova, S., & Golkova, D. (2014). Podcasting in foreign language teaching. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 143, 143-146.

Lanning, L. A. (2013). Designing a concept-based curriculum for English language arts meeting the common core with intellectual integrity, K-12.
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Nola, R. (1997). Constructivism in science and science education: A philosophical critique. Science & education, 6(1-2), 55-83.

Pritchard, D. (2014). What is this thing called knowledge? (3rd ed.). New York City, NY: Routledge.

The Matrix. Dir. Andy Wachowski and Larry Wachowski. Warner Bros. Pictures, 1999. DVD.

Sarah Hsueh-Jui Liu, & Yu-Ju, L. (2016). Social constructivist approach to web-based EFL learning: Collaboration, motivation, and perception on
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So, W. W. M. (2002, June). Constructivist teaching in primary science. In Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching (Vol. 3, No. 1,
pp. 1-33). The Education University of Hong Kong, Department of Science and Environmental Studies.

Zhang, L. J. (2008). Constructivist pedagogy in strategic reading instruction: Exploring pathways to learner development in the english as a second
language (ESL) classroom. Instructional Science, 36(2), 89-116. doi:10.1007/s11251-007-9025-6