Constructivist Versus Traditional Methods in Language Education

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Vol: 5, Issue: 1

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Agola, Emma
Constructivism; Language arts education curriculum; Traditional classroom; Curriculum and Instruction; Online and Distance Education; Scholarship of Teaching and Learning; Teacher Education and Professional Development
editorial description
My experience as a teacher in a British oriented system of education equipped me with the skills needed to approach teaching from what is called the traditional classroom curriculum. I was introduced to constructivism as an alternate method of teaching through a course in Improved Teaching of Secondary School Language arts. At first I thought this was a great idea and felt that we ought to toss all traces of the traditional approach out the window and fully adopt the constructivist approach. However, this was before I was faced with the practicality of applying all that I had learned in a real life classroom. In the traditional system that I am accustomed to, the curriculum is prescribed. Grammar lessons focus on grammar, mechanics, spelling and vocabulary lists. Students practice their writing skills by writing essays on assigned topics, in prescribed formats. For literature, students study choices picked from a prescribed set of books such as Romeo and Juliet, The Great Gatsby and To Kill a Mockingbird.