I attended Project Construct: Module 1 this past summer for 2 days and one Saturday in October. Project Construct is a constructivist approach to early childhood education. This means that “learners construct knowledge through interactions with the physical and social environments. Constructivist theory assumes that learning is due more to the reorganization of ways of thinking, of building upon the ‘known,’ than to development alone or the accumulation of facts alone.” (Projectconstruct.org) There are 3 Modules for Project Construct-Module 1 focuses on the basic framework and philosophy.
Many of the things I learned at project Construct, are things that I have long known are “best practices” for children but often get lost in the jumble of daily educational life. With the emphasis on Critical Thinking in the past years, my interest was drawn towards the question stems that Project Construct uses with students to teach them “how to think” and not “what to think.” I admit, I have been guilty in the past few years of trying to teach children exactly “what to think” and not letting them think for themselves in order to get further down the road in learning facts and covering material.
Some of these question stems include:
“What else can we do with this?
“How could we fix this?
“How do you know?”
“Is this always true?”
“What did you notice about…?”
“I wonder why…”
“How are these alike?; How are they different?”
“How do you think this works?”
Megan Gelband, Westview Elementary, Pre-K
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