Constructivist Traces From The Past Education Essay

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This section covers the historical development, theoretical bases of constructivism, characteristics, theories and its achievement in education through explaining some constructivist course. Next, relevant research studies in the field of education and teacher education, including investigating the symbolic applications to learning and student learning styles are analysis. The review of the literature concludes with the studies of the constructivism in relating to Islamic teaching .

2.1.1. Early Philosophers

taking a quick look into the teachings of famous philosophers, shows hints of the thought constructivism . Socrates, a BC 420th Century philosopher, was o thought that knowledge transmitted by a teacher or another person was not as such understand or educated. The education of Socrates was aimed for to classify the individuals themselves through self-assessment and self-examination. The previous was represented the looking for the truth that is generally in all human beings (Ornstein, 1993). He supposed that a person desires to recognize by having the teacher just to direct them by giving some hints or what he calls "guide post". according to Socrates knowledge cannot be understood by just telling, he emphasize that the internalization of the knowledge by the individual is necessary. The individual does not learn the truth by his or her ; rather it is a teacher who provides certain investigations or hints that helps the knowledge or the understanding . Such implications are clear indicators of social constructivist approaches to teaching and learning in ''Socratic Dialogue'' (AKAR, 2003).

Another philosopher deals with knowledge and learning is J. J. Rousseau. In his significant work "Emile", he made clear that a preparation of education should be to "Nature" rather than "Art," in which the desires of the child are able to build up rather than be obligatory. The children should be formed impulsively by (Wolker, Rousseau, 1996). Rousseau supposed that education received during his time blocked students from being active since it concerned learning, and was heavy and faraway of the individual's understanding (Marlowe, 1998). He asserted that the public was distorted and that the child required to become independent so that it would not be directed by the corrupted human. His evidence was that a child born physically and morally incomplete, so he or she has to allowed to be educated through the period of natural development from early life of childhood. Nevertheless, his thoughts were falsified since the authority of the "society," or the surroundings on the cognitive growth of a child was not indicated clearly.

Another philosopher how give his philosophy in this field also is, Kant . Kant referred to the importance of experience in the development. Also, he stated that the human being was to basis the new learning because "thoughts without ease are nothing, and perception without concepts are unsighted "(Kant, cited in Strawson, 1984, p. 294). Whatever requirements Kant established in our idea about experience, he referred it to the nature of our talents. In his stimulation of education, he renowned the need for individuals to have or build free thinking or personality "truth". While Kant divides philosophy into two things; natural or notional philosophy which gains from consideration and practical, or moral, philosophy which gained from reason, he indicate that a third domain, "judgment" work as a connector between notional and moral . The link between Kant's philosophy and constructivism as Tyronne saied is that all ideas and concepts in modernity knowledge, are reasonable in nature. On the other hand, his judgment is related to modern educational practices because they let basis for human judgment in synthesizing the so-called "truth". This type of improvement have relations with a latter century's scientist, Piaget who is accepted as the predecessor of cognitive constructivism (Glasersfeld, 1990)

2.1.2. Contemporary educators

Among many of recent educators who concern about education in the 20th Century is Jean Piaget the psychologist . His move toward learning is known as cognitive constructivism. The Social constructivism, Later arrived independently by Lev Vygotsky (Prawat, 1999) who proposed that learning was more exposed as a process that built through social connections.von Glasersfeld also come across learning from a very fundamental point, and state that learning was a subject of the integration of what is professed. This section elaborates on Piaget, Vygotsky, and von Glasersfeld perceptions about the construction of knowledge respectively, and ends with a discussion about its communalities and differences regarding constructivism (AKAR, 2003). The It will follow with the contemporary writers who t deals with teaching Islamic notion , aspects and nature with examination and searching for the best practices and their effectiveness, and their evidence.

Piaget's constructivist theory mainly is about biological growth. Piaget thought that the child's own dealings were significant to cognitive development. He assumed that the social background was important in this development process, yet the person acting like a scientist, making his or her hypotheses and examine them to construct an understanding of his or her situation (Das Grupta, 2001) . Piaget's theory assumption is very difficult cognitive structures and roles being formed from simple practices in combination with individual action and experience. The integration of mental operations such as information and cognition happened through a series of steps. Changes from one to another are clear to achievement by the extension of progressive processes (Das Grupta, 2001).

Piaget desired described the intellectual growth in the human being as a form of adaptation to the environment. Balance was explained as a active process of self-regulated actions that balances assimilation and adjustment. Capacity is about organization of experience related on one's own rational structures of integrated meaning of the environment (Fosnot, 1996) and in order to have the learning taking place, a condition of balance have to occur to gain new learning. Disequilibrium make possible learning as such that errors are professed as a result of learners' notions and should not be avoided . The learners are recommended to be permitted to search and make many opportunities in taking on, open-ended discoveries in practical, significant contexts (Fosnot, 1996). This theory is combine with implying educating individuals

Ernst von Glasersfeld also emphasis on the internalization of knowledge. He is known for his "radical constructivist" philosophy (Phillips, 2002). According to von Glasersfeld, knowledge is not passively gained but formed by the identifying subject. So, cognition is providing the association of the experimental world, not the discovery of ontological reality (Glasersfeld, 1994). There is a reality and individual learns experience. This experience is received as the "reality we live in", and anything that outside the individual's experience is not able to be known. For that, von Glasersfeld does not reject reality; however, he indicate it as incomprehensible realm outside experience (Phillips, 2002) von Glasersfeld (1990) affirms that the traditional view of truth can never be asserted as the knowledge that human reason generated. He thinks that constructivism should be radical, and must clarify that one can control without the traditional notion of Truth. Therefore, he have a preference to call this orientation a "theory of knowing" rather than a "theory of knowledge", and considered his orientation as "a post-epistemological perspective" (Glasersfeld, 1990) . He believes that notions and ideas relations are rational structures and these cannot be approved from one mind to another (Glasersfeld, 1994).

The main aim of Vygotskian psychology is to solve "crisis in psychology". Vygotsky, espose the idea that the developmental process was drawn by the learning process. He supported the idea that any pedagogy not regarding this fact was useless, and "Vygotsky links socio-historical psychology with a theory of education" (Hausfather, 1996) .According to him the development, pedagogy produce learning processes that lead to development. He states that one needs to recognize the relationship between development and learning, or the real and probable levels of development. He proves false of idea that educational concepts are just gain through processes of understanding, or through teaching the child scholastic facts and helping them understand these concepts from an grown person. He support that integration of concepts cannot be known by just memorization, the individual needs to undergo higher levels of thinking. He was concerned in the higher mental tasks such as interpretation and consideration. Development of such higher mental processes is known as social rather than individual processes (Light P. &., 1999).

In Vygotsky socio cultural theory , There are three ideas become significant. First, higher mental functions have their starts in social activity (Hausfather, 1996) . Second, human actions or elevated mental tasks whether individual or social, are ruled by tools and signs, called semiotics. Third, individual progress and human proceedings are known through genetic or developmental analysis (Palincsar, 1998). Within this genetic developmental analysis the compound linked structures of tools and symbols, the individual and the social world is investigate to understand learning and development and the transformation of tools, performance , and organizations.

The previous review of literature deals with the theoretical part of constructivism, with the founders such as the traditional philosophers and contemporary educators . the preceding part of the review will talk about the ones who have interest in religious teaching in relation to constructivism learning process. The overview of the literature shows that there is limited research pertaining how to implement the constructivist learning theory to religious education. However, we can claim that pluralistic religious educational approaches such as interpretative and phenomenological are more supportive for constructivist learning than traditional denominational or confessional approaches to religious education.

Some of these studies presented by Grimmet (2000), who offer the following pedagogical submission during the implementation of constructivist approach in religious education:

The religious content is brought into a dynamic relationship with critical thought which pupils agree to as situated or contextualized individuals (Kaymakcan, 2007). He thinks also that any information about religious content of teacher function is linked to the structure that pupils are using, applying (Kaymakcan, 2007). Grimmet states also that the sequence of learning is from encouraging self-centerd interpretations of experience within own thought then another contextualized understandings by integration from pupils or teacher (Kaymakcan, 2007).

Recep Kaymakcan is one who give his opinion in this field. He states that a traditional approach to religious education is not satisfactory to meet the requirements nowadays. He discusses three issues related to multiplicity are explained in terms of religious education curriculum: The first is" Religious education and constructivist approach" , which I refer to in my paper . Second, the teaching of Alawism. Third, the teaching of non-Islamic religions.

Richard E. Watts also in his essay "Embracing Both a Constructivist Counseling Approach and a Specific Religious Tradition: Is it a Leap of Faith?" arises question "Can a educator join between constructivist approach and a religious tradition?" the he give his evidence and reason ti provide the answer . he argue that embracing both a constructivist approach and a religious tradition does not require the leap of faith that one might initially believe. He says " I believe one can. By given the diversity within unity in both, implementation both a constructivist and a particular religious tradition does not need the leap of faith that one might think upon initial contemplation of the principle"

there is also a lake of studies that linked between constructivism and Islamic teaching. Among these studies the one provided by Shaheen Sardar Ali who tries to highlight some questions and matters in separable from conceptualization, development, and delivery of Islamic curricula in an progressively more educational environment. There exist important challenges, both theoretical and practical, for Islamic teaching in Muslim and non-Muslim settings. In Muslim jurisdictions, it is imperative to move behind an absolutely doctrinal, literal approach to teaching and learning Islamic. To achieve this, instructor require to assess the their courses and classroom methods. On other hand ,in reality, this diversity and dynamism does not translate to a tolerant intellectual environment in the academy and indeed life in general (Ali, 2011)

Another study done by Tengku Sarina Aini Tengku Kasim in his doctorate thesis that is about " Teaching and learning experiences in Malaysian higher education". He study teacher education programmes focused on teaching approaches. He stated first that the research is based on Islamic perspective of teaching and learning . He dedicated to the philosophical and conceptual frame work of Islamic perspectives of teaching theories . He also conduct a qualitative study to examine how the teachers obtain a constructivist student-centered perspective in their teacher education coursework, which aspects of constructivism were obvious in their classroom practice, and which factors affect their decision to implement constructivism. Qualitative data done to measure the experience of teaching and learning among Malaysian teacher . these data I use in my discussion in the following part.

Also I refer to a master theses written by Mohammad Alqaisy which is about ' Knowledge Degree of Islamic teachers in Saudi Arabia about constructivism, through its basics principles' He, Take a sample consist of (=114) teacher from different schools and elicit some basic constructivist saying , and interviews the teachers about them to measure the degree of their knowledge in constructivism implementation and process of learning. He use many method to collect the data such as interviews and surveys.

I V. ANALYSIS

4.1. method

The following lines will explain the method used to complete this study that deals with understanding the impact of constructivism on the Islamic teaching. it will begins with the presentation of the overall design and the research questions. Then, the part proceeds with a brief description Theoretical background, and documents the constructivist learning environment and Islamic one. Next, the data sources, data collection procedures and data analysis procedures are explained.

Since a constructivist program has been used to guide my study, a qualitative methodology is employed for the research to investigate the experiences of teaching and learning among Malaysian teacher educators and education students in a teacher education program. The constructivist paradigm underlies the qualitative research methods (Guba, 1994). The experimental group was subjected to a constructivist learning environment, with Islamic objectives . The participants of this study were all the learners (n = 19) from Islamic classes The number of participants.

No

Participant

7

Teacher educators

12

Education students

19

Total

In the research, Kasim used multiple research methods such as interviews as the main source of evidence . He then supported the data by other sources, i.e., document reviews (such as Ministry of Education (MOE) and Ministry of Higher Education's (MOHE) policies; faculty and departmental course materials and lecturers' lesson plans), classroom observation. The total number of interviews conducted:

No

Participant

Type of interview

7

Teacher educators

Individual Interview

5

Teacher educators

Individual Stimulated Recall Interview

12

Education students

Individual Interview

2

Education students

Focus Group Interviews

26

Total

Data interpretations

The data were analyzed to answer the following research questions:

R.Q. 1: What is the empirical basis and methodological foundation of Constructivism?

R.Q. 2: How does it relate to a religious worldview?

R.Q.3: What are the educators' perceptions about applying constructivism in Islamic classes?

R.Q.4: How can Islamic teachers and learner relate to this movement?

The first theme that came out from the data relates to beliefs about teaching from the perspective of the Islamic philosophy. According to the Islamic perspective, all knowledge comes from God. In Islam, the concept of knowledge dominates all aspects of an individual's intellectual, spiritual and social life.

The Malaysian education system with the emphasis on "beliefs on God" and "holistic and integrated" (Education, 1990).

The interviews revealed that several Muslim participants related their teaching strategies adopted with the purpose of teaching in Islam, which is to guide and help learners to be good individuals in all aspects of lives. This reflected their philosophy of teaching that teachers do not just transmit knowledge to students; rather that teachers are mainly responsible for actively developing students as whole, in the; religious, expressive.

The participants' response on the importance of significance experience for creating meaning also supported constructivist learning concepts. The data seemed to support the underlying notion of constructivism that human learning is socially constructed. The participants' acknowledgment of collaborative learning in this study indicated that learning is not just an individual matter, but that it develops within social environment. My analysis of the data suggested their understanding about the importance of student learning through interaction with teachers and other learners. This supports Vygotsky (1978) in his socio-constructivist learning theory which places the social environment at the very centre of learning.

the last study approved the effectiveness of constructivism and Islamic teaching in Malaysia. Another research provide a data about implement the theory in Saudi Arabia , The sample is teachers from different level , the data shows the percentage of knowledge of Saudi teachers a constructivism from its saying . it will presented like the following :

saying

yes

no

Don't Know

saying

yes

no

Don't Know

1

31 %

38 %

31 %

19

77 %

8 %

15 %

2

92 %

0 %

8 %

20

54 %

8 %

38 %

3

77 %

15 %

8 %

21

31 %

61 %

8 %

4

77 %

23 %

0 %

22

77 %

23 %

0 %

5

69 %

31 %

0 %

23

92 %

8 %

0 %

6

77 %

15 %

8 %

24

92 %

8 %

0 %

7

62 %

23 %

15 %

25

54 %

31 %

15 %

8

77 %

8 %

15 %

26

15 %

23 %

62 %

9

46 %

23 %

31 %

27

69 %

0 %

31 %

10

54 %

38 %

8 %

28

84 %

8 %

8 %

11

85 %

15 %

0 %

29

84 %

8 %

8 %

12

69 %

23 %

8 %

30

77 %

15 %

8 %

13

46 %

31 %

23 %

31

46 %

46 %

8 %

14

15 %

62 %

23 %

32

92 %

8 %

0 %

15

62 %

15 %

23 %

33

23 %

69 %

8 %

16

84 %

8 %

8 %

34

85 %

15 %

0 %

17

77 %

15 %

8 %

35

100 %

0 %

0 %

18

92 %

0 %

8 %

It is clear that one of constructivist saying reach 100% which says that the constructivist teacher encourage the student in dialogue whether with the teacher or between students each other. While the saying number 32-24-23-18-2 reach 92% which preset a clear development in constructivist sayings among Saudi educators which refer to the developed programs offered for them. In contrast the saying number(14) which says that the learner doesn't need external aid reached 15% due to depend most teacher on tradition Islamic teachers rather than modern western philosophy. While the other saying was between 85%-32%.

This study shows that the Islamic teaching doesn't have enough knowledge about constructivism, and the effort provided by government of education doesn't fully success for many reasons related to both teacher and curriculum .

At the end I recommended the implementation of constructivism in Islamic courses as proof its effectiveness. It should be integrated in in teacher preparation programs either before or during the service, and the curriculum.

At the end this part deals with Islamic teaching in Islamic context (Saudi Arabia and Malaysia) ,that reveals the answer of my paper that is about : whether it is possible to apply constructivism as a model in teaching Islamic ? the answer is yes with all the evidence mention above. I can say ( the constructivism is effective in teaching the Ibrahemic religions Islam, Christianity and Judaism) that have the same over view toward religion . I refer to some articles to ensure the correctness of my opinion in some aspects.

The last study William Danaher employ constructivist principles in Christian class of , particularly as found in learner-centered, inquiry-guided, and problem based pedagogies. Broadly, constructivism holds that learning occurs through interactions with the subject matter and environment during which the individual learner makes.

Within Christian ethics, constructivist pedagogies offer strategies which tackle the following . (1) the difficulty of demanding to fit enough content into the time provided in the curriculum, constructivist pedagogies center on developing thoughtful facility with the terms and concepts of Christian ethics so that students can be life-long learners in the field of ethics. This means that students increase capability in analyzing texts and topics in Christian ethics and deeper knowledge of an area of study that interests them. (2) the diverse levels of training and experience, constructivist pedagogies help students focus on topics that augment their prior learning and life experience. Further, group work helps students learn from their colleagues and encourages collaboration and communications skills, which are important for future parish clergy. (3) the third concern, constructivist pedagogies strengthen students' grasp of materials covered in previous courses by encouraging them to explore issues and topics that bring insights from other theological disciplines into play. (4) the desire for an approach that gives students increased agency - that is less passive, more interactive, catered to individual learning styles, and related directly to what they will be doing as clergy - these are essential components within constructivist pedagogies. Rather than eroding students' agency, as traditionalist pedagogies often appear to do, agency is a vital component in the constructivist learning process (Danber, 2009).

4.2.Findins

The previous part, take about constructivist learning theory and Islamic learning theory. These two learning theories have been applied in this current study. From both perspectives, meaning and knowledge are actively and socially constructed. These philosophies strongly underpin this study which reflects the importance of learners' traditional beliefs and cultural commitment in the development of meaning.

The findings shows constructivism is a theory of learning which holds that learning takes place on the basis of the previous social and cognitive experiences of the learner. The process of learning involves the construction of meaning regarding new phenomena using one's past experience and past knowledge while encountering new learning experiences. In this sense, learning becomes an active process rather than a traditional model.

Discussion on Islamic philosophy of education shows that the philosophy aims to produce individuals who, while serving God, are equipped to bear the responsibility of khalifah (vicegerent). In order to fulfill this aim, Islamic education should be developed to integrate a student's intellectual, spiritual, physical, and moral domains. Thus, Islamic education is concerned with theory and practice, and knowledge and action. In other words, according to the Islamic worldview, teaching and learning should be active process between learners and teachers.

This chapter further presents and analyses the compatibility between the Islamic philosophy and constructivist theories. The Islamic education philosophy includes students' learning as being didactic, acquiring, and active in the building of knowledge. The philosophy appears to be theoretically compatible with the notions of constructivist learning. The basic premise of constructivism is that individuals construct their own understanding of the world from previous experiences and past knowledge. Learning becomes an active process rather than passive traditional model. Constructivist learning appreciates that human learning is based on understanding, rather than knowing. Thus, to learn with understanding, students must make sense of what they studying by synthesizing new information and experience into the existing mental structure they already posses.

V. CONCLUSION

presents a summary of my analyses of the compatibility of the Islamic and constructivism learning theories based on what have been presented and analyzed. The concepts analyzed following Table suggest that some beliefs of constructivist and Islamic education principals may not different. Therefore, the compatibility of the Islamic and constructivist learning theories can be foreseen. In the Malaysian context, as an Islamic country, I would argue that most teachers and students wish for a transformation in education system which utilizes learning theories that suit their cultural and religion tradition context. Although there can be a critique of using a Western educational concept such as constructivism in an Asian context, the compatibility between these two theories can be the bridge to draw the two traditions together and as actually promoting similar educational approaches and goals.

Theoretical compatibility between Islamic learning theories and constructivist learning theories :

Islamic learning theories

Constructivist learning theories

Key concepts

The second type of knowledge, i.e., earthly knowledge has to be actively discovered and constructed by human beings themselves to compliment the knowledge revealed by God.

Knowledge is not transferred passively, but is personally constructed. New meaning is actively assimilated into previous knowledge structures while encountering a new learning experience.

Learning as an active process

A teacher is responsible for encouraging students to actively seek knowledge in order to raise their intellectual and spiritual level. A teacher plays the role as guide or facilitator** to assist students in their process to build character, knowledge and skill.

A teacher provides students with opportunities and guidance to construct and reflect on their own construction of reality. A teacher plays role as facilitator of learning rather than transmitter of knowledge.

Role of teacher

Various active teaching strategies that can support the two expressions of knowledge as delivering theory (knowing or Ilm); and participating in practices (doing or 'amal), such as questions and answers, demonstration, debate, the use of playful fun and stories, observation and experimentation, reason and reflection; problem solving, dialogue, discussion, application, independent learning, and project based learning.

Various active teaching strategies that enhance learners to actively construct or build new knowledge based upon past and current knowledge, such as problem solving, collaborative learning, independent learning dialogue, interaction, and negotiation.

Teaching methods

Despite the compatibility of Islamic learning philosophy with student-centred learning, there are fundamental differences between the Western worldview and the Islamic worldview. Western rooted its philosophy in secular worldview, which neglects the spiritual aspects in studying humans (Haque, 2004). Western theories, therefore, were founded merely on the human mind and logic, while the philosophy of Islam was firmly grounded on the human mind and logic guided by the revelation (wahy) (Badri, 1979) . In virtue of this fact, the nature of Islamic philosophy is established not by merely speculative thinking, but based on God's revelations, the Qur'an and the hadith, which essentially is the unity or perception of all things (tawhid). Participants' responses such as "Islam encourages us to improve our students' potential… the teacher's roles include developing students' abilities… their intellectual, spiritual, and emotional…" and "all knowledge comes from God... we're God's workers, we have God's trust to inculcate goodness in people" reflected their beliefs on the concept of spirituality from the Islamic perspective, that differs and is incompatible with a Western perspective.

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