Sunday, November 30, 2008

An Information Theory of Learning -- Part 1

Constructivism is a dirty word in K12 education. While educators generally acknowledge constructivism as a pedagogical theory, they doubt its practicality — Too unstructured; takes too much time; OK in the arts or Gifted classes, but doesn’t work for all subjects and all learners.

Here’s something to consider: Constructivism is not a theory of pedagogy. It’s a theory of learning.

Cognitive scientists and other who research how humans think say that we learn by constructing new knowledge. [See How People Learn (2000), from the National Research Council.] That doesn’t mean that we make up things (like intelligent design). It means that we add new information to our existing frameworks of knowledge. We literally rewire our neural pathways in order to fasten new material to existing parts of the network.

This is how we learn. All of us. All of the time. In all circumstances.

Think about the implications…

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