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Puttering, Tinkering, Building, and Making: A Constructionist Approach to Online Instructional Simulation Games

Puttering, Tinkering, Building, and Making: A Constructionist Approach to Online Instructional Simulation Games
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Author(s): Joseph R. Feinberg (Georgia State University, USA), Audrey H. Schewe (Georgia State University, USA), Christopher D. Moore (Georgia State University, USA) and Kevin R. Wood (Gwinnett County Public Schools, USA)
Copyright: 2013
Pages: 20
Source title: Teacher Education Programs and Online Learning Tools: Innovations in Teacher Preparation
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Richard Hartshorne (University of Central Florida, USA), Tina L. Heafner (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA) and Teresa Petty (University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1906-7.ch022

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Abstract

Instructional simulation games are models of the real world that allow students to interact with events and objects that are normally inaccessible within a classroom setting. Yet, simply using an instructional simulation ignores powerful learning opportunities. Papert advocates going beyond simply using models. He promotes a fundamental change in how children learn through his theory of constructionism. Instead of constructivism with a “v,” Papert advocates a theory of learning called constructionism with an “n.” Constructionism aligns with constructivist theory with learners actively constructing knowledge from their experiences. But constructionism adds that new ideas are more likely to emerge when learners are actively engaged in designing or building an artifact or physical model that can be reflected upon and shared with others. Papert’s theoretical approach to learning is relevant to teacher education and should be applied to instruction via interactive, multimedia, and computer-aided simulations.

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