I become comprehend that this unit wave me into depth understanding of the philosophy of constructivism. I agree that constructivism helps teacher to recognize the students’ nature of learning capacities, be aware of knowledge is mediated via representations, be ware of past learning experiences influences present learning, so, teaching and learning will be more meaningful (Fox, 2001). However, my problem is I have to struggle face different ideas about the concept of constructivism itself. I glad that from my previous journal on social constructivism at Driver article which I found simply interaction between students’ world and science itself but the reading in this journal floating me into the other concepts of enculturation itself. Therefore, I am really struggle to put myself understanding on each perspective. Moreover, I became more realize that there is no certainty in the knowledgeJ. Moreover, the idea of using constructivism as a referent also make me confuse at the first time, but the reading helps me to understand, because it also includes the problems on applying constructivism in term of curriculum, assessments, and research which I found really applicable for me. Therefore, the learning experiences in this journal inquire me to re-examine my perspectives on those concepts which as far I glad to have the understanding on those concepts (even in only in intelligible stage which conceptual change recognizedJ. At least, making sense is better than memorizingJ.
Furthermore, I agree that western science privilege mostly learning science in the school. Even though, I just heard the term of “western science” at SMEC. I used to recognize science concepts that I learnt throughout my education is the absolute true of knowledge which is not served any particular culture. Even though, sometimes, I think that why I never learnt about my culture in science even it relates to the science concepts. However, depth-philosophy on the pluralistic concept by Aitkenhead stimulate me to think reflectively on the multicultural people in Indonesia, because I recognize how the culture differences happened in schools in Indonesia, but I never taught it will be conflict for their learning process. Our teachers and me used to promotes the unity of each different culture in Indonesia and never stimulate reflective thinking on differences of each culture which can provide rich features of learning process, especially in science. I think that I should think about the role of different cultures in teaching and learning science in Indonesia J.
Moreover, constructivism as a referent is the new concept that I learn, I used to simply view constructivism as a view of learning which is applied as method. I agree that constructivism as a referent is more powerful than simply as a method. Since, I read this reading, I become realize why mostly teachers back to others theory of learning such as behaviorism, and even they know the powerful of constructivism theory of learning. Therefore, restraining my thinking only on using constructivism as powerful ideology and ignore others theory of learning doesn’t help me anymore. Moreover, the reading by Tobin and Tippins also make me “happy” J, because I used to blame the conditions in my country which the teaching mostly shaped by lecture (teacher-centre), since we have big classes. The idea of constructivism as a referent helps me to understand that constructivism could be applied in these conditions. I understand that how I could give my students opportunity to express their own meanings/prior knowledge and negotiate those meanings socially into the learning process. As a result, they become aware of their own thinking, learn to be aware of others’ thinking, and learn to appreciate and negotiate with different thinking/ideas. I agree of Tobin and Tippins ideas on making sense involves dialectical process both content and process, since I always thinks about the competition between content of chemistry knowledge and pedagogical skills for my students’ teacher. I realize that rather than thinking about the competition both content and pedagogical skills, it is better to think both of them are complementary each other. It means, it is important for my students to have depth understanding of chemistry content as well as pedagogical skills to represent chemistry in the classroom. Therefore, in my understanding of the reading, the authors point out the representing of knowledge is important to making sense of science. Furthermore, on research in education, I comprehend that the postmodernism is part of applying constructivism as a referent. It also reminds me on research studies in my university which explored the constructivism in the classroom, but in comparison between traditional teaching methods and constructivism under positivist paradigm. This type of research studies becomes meaningless, since the result must be simply constructivism is better than traditional without meaningful understanding on it.
Moreover, (again) I think that I could use the constructivist learning environment to give me the framework of my students’ thinking if I apply the constructivism approach. I realize my learning experiences at SMEC give me the rich understanding of each different perspective of using tools for understanding my teaching and learning. One example of the tools that I consider to be used is learning environment questionnaires. Therefore, throughout analysis the scale of constructivist learning environment on the previous journal (Journal 3A), I found it will be useful as reflective tool for me as a teacher who has willingness to apply constructivism in her classroom. As a reflective tool, this instrument could help me to understand my students’ thinking as well as to improve my teaching and learning.
In addition, I reflect on my teaching when I read the idea by Taylor on the myth of hard control, because I realize how I used to put my power to force students’ learning. Even, I had experience to push students on their achievement by using the “autocratic” language ;(. Based on my experience both as a leaner and a teacher, as a leaner, I view my teachers as “heroic individual” (Taylor, 1996) and the one who have power to decide my learning process as well as provide the absolute truth of knowledge. As a teacher, I also used to consider myself as the one who control my classroom, so, facing the passive learners is common happened in my classroom. I think that I became the replication of my teachers who play the role as a controller. Therefore, the example of a mathematics teacher who was struggling to apply constructivism in the classroom makes me reflect on the similar problems that I had in my classroom. However, I hope that using constructivism as a referent and reflective tool could help me to deal with these myths. Moreover, through this reading I becomes more realise on the limitations of conceptual change. According to Duit & Treagust (1998), conceptual growth which recognises different students’ conceptions is mostly happened in the classroom, rather than the conceptual change. However, I am still interested to more explore the conceptual change, since the education system in my country is mostly shaped by this concept. Exploring this concept will help me to understand the limitations within the implementation in the classroom. Finally, these rich learning experiences in this journal encourage me to apply the constructivism within my own context and I think that I also need to put integrated thinking on different perspectives of constructivism from the radical into the socio-culture constructivism.
Duit, R. & Treagust, D.F. , (1998). Learning in science-from behaviorism towards social constructivism beyond. In B.J. Fraser, & K.G. Tobin (Eds.), International handbook of science education, (pp 3-25). Britain: Kluwer Academic Publisher.
Fox, R. (2001). Constructivism examined. Oxford Review of Education, 27(1), 23-35.
Taylor, P.C. (1996). Mythmaking and mythbreaking in the mathematics claasroom. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 31(1,2), 151-173.