One of my favorite lesson in constructivism is scaffolding. Scaffolding is the guidance provided by the more knowledgeable other (MKO) that fits the current skill of the learner. According to Vygotsky, there is a zone of proximal development (ZPD) where the
actualization of learning is at its highest potential.
My mother is my perfect example. She started to learn how to use a computer when she was fifty-five years old. We started with the basics e.g. turn on/off the computer, created an email for her and started teaching her how to type letters, press delete, space and enter buttons etc. At first she will send me an email with no periods, no commas, and no spaces, but later on, she learned how to type sentences correctly and she even added colored fonts! One decade later, I can call her a tech-savvy grandma 🙂 She has a computer, a tablet device and a mobile phone which she used for FaceTime, Facebook, Viber, Skype, watch on YouTube etc.
Scaffolding needs patience and also restraint. Teachers should be aware when to give help and what amount of help should be given so that it will not impair learning.
Aside from scaffolding, I also understood the key assumptions of constructivism. That learning is an active rather than a passive process and learning is meaningful when it is authentic and real.
Some students may not appreciate group projects because of the different personalities of each member, clashing ideas, the “drama” in going thru the process or some just prefer working solo. But this teaching method provides a lot of learning opportunities thru collaboration, teamwork, critical thinking, social interaction, constructing knowledge and building personalities.
“Make today an amazing memory” read one of the Giordano shirts. Isn’t it fascinating that today will just be a memory tomorrow? We have to seize the day and take advantage of the opportunity to do good, meet someone, influence others or do things that will matter.
Would you want to have the ability to recall all the things that ever happened to you? Good and bad? I think you would choose the former because it makes us feel good. Forget about the unhappy thoughts or memories.
I also wonder how is it like for a person with a photographic memory. Does the brain have time to rest or flashbacks of memories keep coming non-stop? I may not have this ability but I am glad that I took this course and learned a lot about encoding, attention and retrieving information.
Attention can have an impact on how events will retain in our short term or long term memory. I am guilty of divided attention. Sometimes, I will study while watching a movie or listening to the news. I also tried doing chores while listening to the audio lessons. If I pay attention I can understand what I am hearing, but if not, it is just a background noise. I noticed that I can understand better when I am reading and listening to the audio lessons at the same time and without any distractions.
I also learned about the primacy-recency effect and how it will be useful in classroom instruction and design. I will definitely use this in one of my training. In fact, right after I learned of this information, I now do my reading in the morning where my attention is at its prime.
And there’s the memory palace. The what? I have an idea how it works, maybe used it at times unknowingly. The most common memory techniques that I have used and currently using are chunking and mnemonics. I also enjoyed the Ted Talks and YouTube videos about this lesson. I am craving for more information and will definitely read more about this topic in the future. I am also planning to get the book of Joshua Foer “Moonwalking with Einstein” 🙂