Using Constructivism as a methodology for chess teaching

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Alexander Ajibola Meroi

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Constructivist teaching is based on constructivist learning theory. Constructivist teaching is based on the belief that learning occurs as learners are actively involved in a process of meaning and knowledge construction as opposed to passively receiving information.

Constructionism

An approach to learning based on the constructivist learning ideologies presented by Jean Piaget (Harel & Papert, 1991). In this approach, the individual is consciously engaged in the construction of a product (Li, Cheng, & Liu, 2013). The utilization of constructionism in educational settings has been shown to promote higher-order thinking skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking (Li et al., 2013).

Guided instruction

A learning approach in which the educator uses strategically placed prompts, cues, questions, direct explanations, and modeling to guide student thinking and facilitate an increased responsibility for the completion of a task (Fisher & Frey, 2010).

Problem-based learning

A structured educational approach which consists of large and small group discussions (Schmidt & Loyens, 2007). Problem-based learning begins with an educator presenting a series of carefully constructed problems or issues to small groups of students (Schmidt & Loyens, 2007). The problems or issues typically pertain to phenomena or events to which students possess limited prior knowledge (Schmidt & Loyens, 2007). The first component of problem-based learning is to discuss prior knowledge and ask questions related to the specific problems or issues (Schmidt & Loyens, 2007). Following the class discussion, there is typically time in which students individually research or reflect on the newly acquired information and/or seek out areas requiring further exploration (Schmidt & Loyens, 2007). After a pre-determined amount of time (as outlined by the educator), students will meet in the same small groups that were composed prior to the class discussion (Schmidt & Loyens, 2007). In the first meeting, groups will spend between one and three hours further discussing the problems or issues from class in addition to presenting any new information collected during individual research (Schmidt & Loyens, 2007). Following the first meeting, students will independently reflect on the group discussion, specifically in comparing thoughts regarding the problems or issues in question (Schmidt & Loyens, 2007). Typically, groups will meet a second time to critically analyse individual and group thoughts and discussions and will attempt to synthesize the information in order to draw conclusions about the given problem or issue (Schmidt & Loyens, 2007). Within the educational setting, problem-based learning has enabled students to actively construct individual understandings of a topic using both prior and newly acquired knowledge (Schmidt & Loyens, 2007). Moreover, students also develop self-directed and group learning skills which ultimately facilitates the comprehension of the problems or issues (Schmidt & Loyens, 2007).

Inquiry-based learning

An educational approach associated with problem-based learning in which the student learns through investigating issues or scenarios (Hakverdi-Can & Sonmez, 2012). In this approach, students pose and answer questions individually and/or collaboratively in order to draw conclusions regarding the specific issues or scenarios (Hakverdi-Can & Sonmez, 2012). Within the educational setting, inquiry-based learning has been beneficial in developing student inquiry, investigation, and collaboration skills, in turn, increasing overall comprehension of the issue or scenario (Hakverdi-Can & Sonmez, 2012).

Effective essential questions include student thought and research, connect to student's reality and can be solved in different ways (Crane, 2009). There are no incorrect answers to essential questions, rather answers reveal student understanding(Crane, 2009).

Anchored instruction

An educational approach associated with problem-based learning in which the educator introduces an 'anchor' or theme in which students will be able to explore (Kariuki & Duran, 2004). The 'anchor' acts as a focal point for the entire task, allowing students to identify, define, and explore problems while exploring the topic from a variety of different perspectives (Kariuki & Duran, 2004).

Cooperative learning

A variety of educational approaches focusing on individuals working together to achieve a specific learning outcome (Hsiung, 2012).

Reciprocal Peer Teaching

A cooperative learning approach wherein students alternate roles as teacher and learner (Krych, March, Bryan, Peake, Wojciech, & Carmichael, 2005). The utilization of Reciprocal Peer Teaching (RPT) in educational settings has been effective in the development of teamwork, leadership, and communication skills in addition to improving students' understanding of course content (Krych et al., 2005).


 Education and Training
 Adult Learning

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