In late October ’18, I started out in this course by saying (should I say “declaring”?), “I don’t recall ever actually analyzing how I have learned in past. In doing so this week, I conclude that my most considerable learning occurred and is best described for me through the constructionism theory”.
That earlier research provided, and I still now subscribe to the characteristics of constructionism, being that learning is constructed from possessing a basic current understanding, and from that basis, new learning occurs. It always does just that for me. (LinkedIn, 2013).
The AHA Moment
Ok, now at 6 ½ + weeks later into this course, I still hold true that my learning was and still is through the constructivist theory… however; I can now say that my learning was (and definitely still is) a combination of Constructivist and Adult Learning Theory – hence one of the last theories we studied in this course. This new information shed light on another influence on my learning.
The Constructivist Theory, that I can so relate to, tells us that we construct our own knowledge which is based upon exclusive worldly experiences attached to the significance the learner gives to these experiences. Knowledge is assembled, not delivered. A constructivist learner explores their environments, test hypotheses (over and over) by analyzing and building conclusions (Lamie, 2000).
The Adult Learning Theory approach tell us that adults must be participatory in planning out their education goals, with a need to actively evaluate their results. Additionally, and I see this in myself, I need a learning environment where if I make mistakes, that’s OK, and that provides me a reason to continue to learn, and there has to be a problem-centered approach to exploring new ideas. Time is precious, so I need to know that my learning opportunities are relative to present-time for my work and career self-advancement. And although my instructors can be the most educated and brilliant in their fields, I need a comfort level where I know I can access them as needed to discuss course materials and sort out any problems, with me the student, and my instructor as partners in my learning journey (The Principles of Adult Learning, n.d.).
My Learning Style
Then, my learning style, that being a visual learner, combines both these theories quite nicely. The one side of me, the visual constructivist learner, learns by combining all aspects of seeing, doing and “connecting the dots” so to say. I am the kind that show me once and I can thoroughly repeat the activity immediately. As a program administrator, I enjoy using my critical thinking and analytical skills to work in groups or in pairs on real work challenges where answers and solutions are required for a project to successfully push forward (Edouard, 2018).
The other side of myself, as the visual adult learner, I learn more from visual presentations and by observing an expert perform a task, as opposed to lecture-based learning, and the learning is relevant to me. I must first see what I am expected to learn I thrive on problem-oriented learning activities that have meaning, are with purpose, and are based on my interests (Lamie, 2000). In conclusion,
I am a, “Visual-Constructivist-Adult Learner”.
Technology has always had a role in my learning. From my long-ago days in elementary school, I benefited as a visual learner when the TV cart was rolled down the school hallway into the classroom, for what was usually a science program. That I recall very well. Again, as a visual learner, the use of projection screens in my classrooms, throughout my education, allowed me to “see” my notes as opposed to listening to my instructor teach. In this course, it is not uncommon for me while away from my desk, to use my smart phone to access the university site to review my work as needed. In using the internet as a technology tool to conduct course research, I see opportunities to openly evaluate the legitimacy, and challenge the accuracy of online content while cross-referencing information to validate it. In my work, as most of us do, I use a Dell laptop, digital cameras, 3D printers and video-teleconferencing. All of which I never used (or had access to) years ago, but now, these technologies are an integral part of my work and I could not perform my job without any of it.
Constructivism: Knowledge Construction / Concept Learning. (2013). LinkedIn. Retrieved 31 October 2018 from https://www.slideshare.net/laralundang/constructivism-knowledge-construction-concept-learning
The Principles of Adult Learning. (n.d.). Rutgers Online. Retrieved 12 December 2018 from https://online.rutgers.edu/blog/principles-of-adult-learning-theory/
Lamie, E. (2000). Learning theories: constructivism and multiple intelligences. CSUS. Retrieved 12 December 2018 from https://www.cs.csustan.edu/~lamie/sed590/CSUS%20Learning%20Theories.htm
Edouard, T. (2018). How to become a constructivist adult ed instructor that teaches like a pro. Coaching for Better Learning. Retrieved 12 December 2018 from https://coachingforbetterlearning.com/2018/07/23/how-to-become-a-constructivist-adult-ed-instructor-that-teaches-like-a-pro/