Among all theories of learning and teaching, I found Constructivism to be the one that better reflects what education should represent for both teachers and students. According to the humanistic psychologist, Carl Rogers, education must be a chain in which a teacher and a student are firmly interconnected, working together to grow in the direction that enhances their existence. Therefore, the process of learning and teaching can be conceptualized as teamwork. Teachers need to perform as facilitators providing the nurturing context for learners to construct their own meanings in interaction with others. Meanwhile, students have to cooperate with teachers and other learners to engage in critical thinking, to develop new skills, and to relate everything they do with their reality outside classroom.
Since I envision education as an active relationship between teachers and students, Constructivism definitely has defined my teaching practice. Although individual performance and peaceful silence provide good prospects for learning, the social occasions of conversation, interaction, and debate also play a critical role in the process. As a consequence, classroom activities and material should contain meaningful contexts of real communication with teachers focused not only on individual students, but also on the development of community learners; and with students committed in the odyssey of becoming persons.
Finally, it is irrefutable that students do not process information the same way. Thus, teachers need to create opportunities for students to learn through multiple approaches. They must be conscious of what their students know and think, treating their differences as resources rather than obstacles. There is a broad array of strategies ranging from drill and practice to recitation or from cooperative groups to simulations, which allow teachers to combine them based on learners’ needs. For instance, I consider that linguistic knowledge should include knowledge of students’ first language in order to make them get familiar with grammatical structures they have already learnt in their native language. Also, in the course of acquiring new vocabulary, I believe in use of mnemonics and dictations to recall what has been assimilated. Moreover, since learning is a complex process, students need to manage a diversity of techniques that help them organized and transform factual information into usable knowledge. Lastly, due to the fact that theory is inseparable from practice; promoting discussions to answer new questions reflecting on knowledge, and expressing ideas in creative ways will lead students to develop critical thinking.
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