Week 5

EDET 677 Week 5: What is the relationship between teaching and learning?

The relationship between teaching and learning is how we approach our teaching method. Constructivism is a theory of learning that is most associated with teaching models that are project-based, child-centered, open-ended, inquiry-based, etc. Constructionism is a theory of teaching, which is the best way to implement constructivist learning, (Martinez, et.al, loc., 1652). Instructionism is direct instruction, where we teach our students directly; the facts, and then having them practice to memorize how to solve. Instructionists believe that learning is the direct result of having been taught. “Constructionists believe that learning results from experience and that understanding is constructed inside the head of the student,” (Martinez, et.al, loc., 1665).

Seymour Papert (Martinez, et.al, loc., 1690) outlined the “Eight Big Ideas Behind The Constructionist Learning Laboratory:”

The first big is learning by doing. The second big idea is technology as building     material. The third big idea is hard fun. The fourth big idea is learning to learn. The fifth big idea is taking time- the proper time for the job. The sixth big ide is the biggest of all: you can’t get it right without getting it wrong. The seventh big idea is do unto ourselves what we do unto our students. The eighth big idea is we are entering a digital world where knowing about digital technology is as important as reading and writing.

I think a great way to describe the relationship between teaching and learning, is introducing a tool, or a problem, and then having the students figure it out on their own; which is a concept called applied constructionism (Martinez, et.al, loc., 1722). There is little emphasis on learning the facts, but more on learning the processes. Students collaborate with each other, ask questions, help one another, experiment, make mistakes, and do it again… It’s the learning process.

“Less is more when it comes to instruction. If you need to teach something new, make the demonstration as quick as possible,” (Martinez, et.al, loc., 1778). We should focus on the big ideas and what students need to know now, followed by an opportunity for them to gain experience with that idea or technique (loc., 1790).


Martinez, S. L., & Stager, G. (n.d.). Invent to learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom. Retrieved June 13, 2016.



One thought on “Week 5

  1. Regarding the less is more technique, I like the baseball metaphor on page 75 of Invent to Learn. We don’t teach baseball by starting with all the rules of the game and baseball vocabulary. And we don’t test students on them before they get to actually play. They play with peers on their own or with adult coaching without having to learn all about the rules first. This makes sense when it is applied to a maker space or other types of similar learning activities. Hands-on, learning by doing, is often the most appropriate way to learn.
    As an example, my grandma taught me how to bake cookies and to knit, not by telling me how or explaining the rules first. We did these things together and then I was on my own to experiment and learn from mistakes.


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