The four conceptual models namely Meaning Learning, Discovery Learning, Generative Learning and Constructivism are useful in achieving instructional goals through preferred application of educational technology. With these conceptual models, we shall see how effective teachers best interact with their students in innovative learning activities while integrating technology to the teaching-learning process.
This gives focus to new experience that is related to what the learner already knows. A new experience departs from the learning of a sequence of words or memorization through rote memory but gives attention to meaning. It assumes that:
Ø Students already have some knowledge that is relevant to new learning
Ø Students are willing to perform class work to find connections between what they already know and what they can learn.
In the learning process, the learner is encouraged to recognize relevant personal experiences. A reward structure is set so that the learner will have both interest and confidence, and this incentive system gives positive reinforcement to learning.
This kind of learning is differentiated from reception learning in which ideas are presented directly to students in a well-organized way, such as through a detailed set of instructions to complete an experiment or task. To make a contrast, in discovery learning students perform tasks to uncover what is to be learned. New ideas and new decisions are generated in the learning process, regardless of the need to move on and depart from organized set-off activities. In discovery learning, it is important that the student become personally involved and not subjected by the teacher to procedures he/she is not allowed to depart from.
In applying technology, the computer can present a tutorial process by which the learner is given key concepts and the rules learning are directly presented for receptive type of learning. But aside from that, the computer has other uses. In a computer simulation process, for example, the learner himself is made to identify key concepts by interacting with a responsive virtual environment. The learner thus discovers the concepts from the experience the virtual environment provides.
In generative learning we have active learners who attend to learning events and generate drawing from this experience and draw inferences thereby creating a personal model or explanation to the new experience in the context of existing knowledge. Generative learning is viewed as different from the simple process of storing information for motivation and responsibility is said to be crucial to this domain of learning. Examples of this in the area of language comprehension are activities such as writing paragraph, summaries, developing answers and questions, drawing pictures, creating paragraph titles, organizing ideas/concepts, and others. In sum, generative learning gives emphasis to what can be done with the pieces of information not only just an access to them.
In constructivism, the learner builds a personal understanding through appropriate learning activities and a good learning environment. The two accepted principles are:
- Learning consists of what a person can actively assemble for himself and not what he can receive passively.
- The role of learning is to help the individual live/adapt to his personal world.
- The learner is directly responsible for learning. He creates personal understanding and transforms information into knowledge. The teacher plays an indirect role by modeling effective learning, assisting, facilitating, and encouraging learners.
- The context of meaningful learning consists in the learner “connecting” his school activity with real life.
- The purpose of education is acquisition of practical and personal knowledge, not abstract or universal truths.
These four conceptual theories of learning gives us the idea and the realization that education ought to enhance and develop a person’s skills and abilities by making use of what has been presented in understanding present situation, or in solving a problem or explaining the relevance of what has been previously learned and what has been currently being learned. Actually this does not mean that we will stop memorizing or doing drill activities. But these things not ought to be the way/method to educate a student or introduce a concept to be learned because in the first place only the memory will be exercised with a drill, after which, most of the times we forget and cannot apply it.
I also do not think that Constructivism abandons universal truths for we know that most truths are a product of man’s discoveries. Yes it is true to say that it started with a faulty belief (ex. The world is flat), but since it is human nature that man is inquisitive, he finds a way to discover the truth of what has been presented. With that, it made man able to adapt to his environment because he learns to build personal understanding out of what has been discovered and applied it to his own. In other words universal truths did not appear to be universal at first, it started with an experiment and discoveries before it had been made a universal truth. So I don’t think, constructivism abandons universal truths for constructivism just wants to prove that we should not stick on what is readily there and had been proven already. Let us acquire knowledge that will be helpful for us in our survival.