Volume 10 · Number 3 · Pages 370–381
Learning about Learning with Teachers and (from) Young Children

Chrystalla Papademetri-Kachrimani

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Abstract

Context: Convictions arising from different, separate and distinct domains and paradigms (modeling-based learning (MbL), Papert’s constructionism, literature on play from the domain of early childhood education, complexity theory) agree in favor of a need for a shift in education that will allow (young) children to access what Papert refers to as “hard learning” that consequently leads to “hard fun.” Problem: Nevertheless, such an achievement demands supporting learning in a manner that seems difficult for teachers to comprehend and handle. Method: In this article, we provide three learning stories. These constitute parts of an effort to develop a joint mathematics and science curriculum for early childhood education parallel to supporting teachers so that they deliver and, at the same time, are able to value and assess the learning involved. The first story concerns teachers’ learning whereas the second and third story concern 5-year-olds’ learning. Results: In all three stories, we see how the researcher (author), teachers and children learn (about creative learning) together. By the end of this article, the three stories will allow us to describe and redefine MbL and at the same time highlight the constructivism foundations of MbL and the common ground between MbL and the constructionism paradigm. Implications: Furthermore, the stories as a whole will allow us to argue that all it takes to move away from traditional practices is a shift in how learning is conceptualized. Constructivist content: The article is built on the constructionism approach, which focuses on the value of learners acquiring access to powerful ideas through meaningful constructivist learning processes.

Key words: Mathematics, teacher education, modeling-based learning, early childhood education, creative learning

Citation

Papademetri-Kachrimani C. (2015) Learning about learning with teachers and (from) young children. Constructivist Foundations 10(3): 370–381. http://constructivist.info/10/3/370

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