The following presents the topic of traditional and constructivist teaching methods in the classroom. These methods are compared and contrasted. This is followed by a summary and conclusions.
Traditional Versus Constructivist Methods
Today's diverse student population has resulted in teachers seeking changes in traditional methods of instructing students (Kumar 247). Teachers seek ways to improve student motivation and engagement in the learning process (Vosniadou 47). Methods of teaching include the traditional or teacher-centered methods and the constructivist or student-centered methods (Travis and Lord 12). Traditional methods have been used for many years but teachers are seeking student-centered approaches to help motivate students to learn and increase their excitement and interest in learning (Kumar 247).
Each of these methods has advantages and disadvantages for the teacher and the student. The teacher-centered approach assumes that all students have similar levels of knowledge in the subject being taught and they absorb new material in a similar pace. The student-centered learning approach allows students to work together in small groups and answer a posed question. These students can be at different levels of knowledge and abilities to learn since students assist each other in the process. With the teacher-centered or traditional approach, the teacher guides the student and offers him or her new information with little interaction between teachers and students or among students and other students. The constructivist approach allows the teacher to assist the student as they develop their own new insights and connect new material with old knowledge (Travis and Lord 12).
Comparing and Contrasting Methods
While the traditional method presents these new insights to the student, the constructivist approach allows the students to discover the new themselves in the student groups. Both tea...