|The purpose of this course is to answer three fundamental questions:|
|What is the nature of knowledge?|
|How do we come to know?|
|How is knowledge valued?|
|Instructor:||Peter E. Doolittle|
|Office:||226 War Memorial Hall|
Constructivism involves the active creation and modification of thoughts, ideas, actions, and understandings as the result of experiences that occur within individual and socio-cultural contexts. Central issues in this creation of understanding include: (a) What counts as valid knowledge?, (b) How do we come to know?, and (c) How is the value of knowledge determined?
Constructivism emphasizes the active role played by the individual learner in the construction of knowledge, the primacy of social and individual experience in the process of learning, and the realization that the knowledge attained by the learner varies in its accuracy as a representation of an external reality. This course will explore these issues as they pertain to teaching, learning, technology, society, research, and education—broadly applied.
Ultimately, this course focuses on the construction of knowledge and knowing in everyday life.
This course is based on a pedagogy that involves reading and thinking to understand, discussing and thinking to understand, explaining and thinking to understand, and applying and thinking to understand. The processes of reading, discussing, explaining, and applying take place before, during, and after the classroom experience so that students have the opportunity to revisit their knowing several times in order to develop, challenge, and clarify what they know.
The entry point for each aspect of the class is reading, reading both seminal works associated with each aspect as well as contemporary works. In addition, these readings will focus on both theoretical underpinnings and practical applications. Reading to understand is a critical component of the course, but only the beginning. There are no lectures in this class, rather, the classes will entail individual and social opportunities to develop, challenge, and clarify.
Ultimately, as a doctoral level course, there are doctoral level expectations for reading, discussing, explaining, and applying.
The course, in pursuit of it's three primary questions, is structured in six parts:
There are typically two articles or one book to read each week. Click on the View Readings button to see all of the readings. The articles themselves are available online once your Log-In.
The activities in this class have all been created to foster learning, none of them were created with assessment or grading in mind. The learning aspect of this class depends on you engaging fully in the weekly 25-word summaries and the periodic oral explanations. These activities are subsequently used for grading purposes, but only tangentially.
With that in mind, student performance will be evaluated in two primary ways, the completion of a series of 25-word summaries and daily class evaluations. The 25-word summaries provide an opportunity for students to extract the essential meaning from a reading, lecture, activity, or experience, and summarize that meaning clearly and concisely in 25 words. The daily class evaluations allow students the opportunity to reflect on their learning and provide feedback to the instructor on the conduct of the course. The assignments are delineated in the 25-Word Summaries and Daily Class Evaluations handouts.
(22 x 100 pts each)
Daily Class Evals
(13 x 50 pts each)
Details on each of these activities are available once you logged in.
When you log-in you will have access to the readings, tasks, notes, scores, and more.
226 War Memorial Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24060