Applying a Constructivist Approach

In this section, Prof. Klopfer outlines his constructivist approach to teaching and explains the details of how students learn from experience in a video interview.

Enabling Students to Learn Through Experience

I use a constructivist approach in my classes; I believe that learning happens not from me telling things to students, but from them experiencing things. By incorporating large amounts of discussion- and activity-based time into this class, I aimed to provide opportunities for my students to learn through experience.

Two prime examples of the constructivist approach in action are the current events assignment (PDF) and the chapter readings assignment (PDF), which are described in more detail here. Another example is the modes of teaching activity, in which students learned about and experienced various educational strategies by teaching their own lessons to their classmates.

Learning happens not from me telling things to students, but from them experiencing things.

– Prof. Klopfer

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In this video, Professor Eric Klopfer expands on his use of the constructivist approach in teaching the MIT course 11.124 Introduction to Education: Looking Forward and Looking Back on Education.