Piaget Monday


Jean Piaget, founder of constructivism

“Constructivism is a theory of knowledge that argues that humans generate knowledge and meaning from an interaction between their experiences and their ideas. It has influenced a number of disciplines, including psychology, sociology, education and the history of science.” (from Wikipedia)

Niagara University, my alma mater (one of them), believes in this Constructivism philosophy and builds its programming around it (if similar to when I was there). I can still remember that my learning of experiences occurred during the process of writing those reflective write-ups AFTER the experience, not during the ‘doing’ of them.  And, I remember during the doing of them, you’re too busy doing!  I still remember enjoying writing those reflections and taking the time to craft them just so, finding it really important to capture my feelings in relation to the activity. So, because I realized the value of reflection, it is no surprise that I continue to operate in this way.

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The Battle of the Ss

Summer and School Year (SY) were arguing over who was more popular.  (from the point of view of a teacher.)

Summer:  Look, SY I hear people, from young to old, talking about how they can’t wait for me to begin.  Teachers and students of all ages sing my praises the whole year through.  I think the most obvious reason is the fact that I offer time, time for people to relax and to do what they want to do.  Also, travel.  I offer time for families to be together in play while you represent work.

SY:  I must admit, when I am fading and you come into being, I see your assets.  You are a refreshing change, you allow a person to sleep in late, and allow a person to laze about throughout long dog days.  And, yes, there seems to be a few months that are considered vacation time and that sure is a nice thing for all families.  But, after the first few weeks and life takes a turn to the unstructured, I notice a thing or two.   Your weather gets overwhelming uncomfortable.   Your sun is beaming long hours causing burns, your humidity is unforgiving, and this particular year, you left the land parched and scarce of greenery.  And, if that isn’t bad enough, some homes don’t have air conditioning for relief.

Summer:  I am often dry and hot.  There are people who prefer the warmth I radiate due to the ease of dress and minimal layering.  People love to tan, hang by beaches, and read under shade trees.  Walking around bare foot isn’t so bad, either.

SY:  Look, I am three seasons of fashion fun from head to toe, and everything in between!  From cotton to wool, silks to velvet, people are in abundance with choice in their wardrobe.   And ‘tis my season when the knitwear comes out!

Summer:  hmmm.  But, there is no school during the summer!  HA!  I’ve got you there!

SY:  You know, people might say they don’t like me but isn’t it interesting how people shop to prepare for me.  Parents are eager to get their children back into routine.  Teachers anticipate new challenges.  Principals and office people are happy to see the building buzzing again.  I offer an opportunity for renewal, new faces to get to know, and new friendships to make.  I offer a chance for new approaches in teaching and learning.   I stand for busy, active times, lessons, schedules, and accountability.  I stand for purpose.  There are people who actually like to learn and grow.

Summer:  Guess it is a good thing Calendar includes the both of us.  And, since the tide is changing, may you be most successful this year.

NOTE:  There are some teachers who look forward with excited anticipation to each and every new school year.