Conventional Epistemology Is Primarily About Teaching Theories Education Essay

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The purpose of this study is to examine the effectiveness of constructivism on teaching and learning Islamic courses. Under the roof of this purpose there were four themes that guided the research process and gave shape to the research questions presented below.

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?

1.3. Significance of the Study

Mounting number of studies emphasize the importance of constructivist teacher instruction in education. Literature on constructivist teacher education deals with that practices in the background of a constructivist learning surroundings will help teachers to be agents of transform who apply knowledge of developmental theory and the thoughts of investigation and thoughtful teaching to be taught (Kroll, 1996). Kaufman (1996) claimed that in schools, teacher education programs must utilize constructivist program to connect teacher candidates to the field work opportunities for practical learning, self-observation, assessment and expression.

Similarly, other research emphasizes the requirement of educators to prepare their classes as they want to their students to so they become agents of change. Holt-Reynolds (2000) suggests that the teacher more often take on themselves in requesting beginners to learn how to evolve student involvement and then use students' their obtainable ideas as a primary concern for helping them strut new, rational, exact, disciplined understandings. In other words, it is directly declared the educators be supposed to apply what they speak (Tillema, 2002). Educators should be role models and make clear the educational and didactical decisions they make (Lunenberg, 2003). It is only through general questioning, reflecting, and constructing that the constructivist model shift in education will ever take root in teacher preparation hard works (Fosnot, Constructivism: A psychological theory of learning, 1996), related knowledge is dependent on the value of contacts that occur within the framework of significant and related experiences (Jadallah E. , Reflective theory and practice: A constructivist process for curriculum and instructional decisions, 1996) .


2.1 Constructivism in Education

Piaget rarely indicate the social aspects, yet, that is differs from Vygotsky social constructivism . Piaget's constructivism was expressed basically as a psychological philosophy. Peer interface was emphasized as crucial in the learning process to solve problem, which is known as socio-cognitive disagreement in the context of constructivism (Light P. &., 1999). The Vygotskian perspective, emphasizes on the social relation between teacher and other students are important in the learning process. Knowledge is not only organized in the mind of the individual; rather, the contacts within a social context engage learners in distribution, (Balakrishnan, An investigation of the use of constructivism and technology in project-based learning, 2001) (Jadallah, 2000) reconstructing and constructing their ideas and beliefs. The importance is still student-centered and practical, the teacher mostly occupied in guiding social communications that let students to construct and experiment knowledge within a social context (Jadallah, 2000) . in the end, these views of constructivism need to be raised in education field.

Constructivism epistemologically view of learning more than teaching. Constructivists believe that some activities and environments can increase the meaningful process, such as effective learning using physical, visual and auditory activities, creating opportunities for discussion, development, and providing a affluent, secure and attractive environment (Brooks, 1996) Constructivism is stranded in students' dynamic involvement in problem-solving and critical thinking. It hand about the importance of taking dependability making decision process. Knowledge building is based on construction upon preceding experiences. Thus, new knowledge is incorporated with the previous thinking constructs. combination of such experiences is facilitated through social and shared natures of learning such as scaffolding (Darling-Hammond, 2000). The emphasis is on social and collaborative nature of learning. Cooperation entails giving out ideas ,responses about given difficult problems that need integrated skills. In such announced learning environments discussion facilitates the learning process in constructing knowledge based upon existing knowledge. In addition to that, intellectual manipulation, and the process of progressing, trying, and generalizing hypotheses (Shunk, 1996) .

Knowledge cannot easily transfer from teachers to students, it has to be conceived. Abstract transform should be provided through reality. Reality, however, is defined in other way in constructivism. It is consist of the network of parts and relationships that one depend on living and believes (von Glasersfeld, 1996) . Reality is not in the perfect world like that of Platon think, but in the tasks the students are involved in, and how they interact with them. For instance, when dealing with real problem-solving situations, the expected dealing that occurs in real life is well-known in the education background.

A student's abstract understanding progress throughout experiences and is created through communications with other people. That approach to constructivism goes behind the biological process of cognitive constructivism that confirms the social and historical contexts of learning. It is important for educators who support constructivist learning to study how their program and instructional practices engage learners linked to concepts, facts to the limits social context (Balakrishnan, 2001) .

Constructivism does not demand inventions in the field of education; it instead claims to provide a concrete abstract foundation for some things that encouraged teachers who had to do without notional foundation (Glasersfeld, 1990).

The traditional notion of a teacher is the one who is standing in classroom to teach some basics principles or observing the class. Students are the ones sitting at their desks, either listening carefully to the teacher or doing busy doing the task in quietly. Relations in constructivist learning environment occur between the teacher and the students, but rather take place among all the individuals' various cognitive abilities (AKAR, 2003).

The teacher's function is to direct, center, advice, assist, and evaluate the process to promise that the learning process is direction to a related academically dynamic conclusion. It may be that express lessons are required. In these situations the teacher has to conclude the limits to direct instruction, and give a chance to learner (Marlowe, 1998)

The teacher should be prepared to control the students' interaction. Teachers need to have knowledge about problem solving, and the general errors, misconceptions, and mistakes interfaces individually. The teacher helps learners understand properties of the wealthy, practical context that had not been prepared before, and for the prospect of constructive solutions; and direct student interactions as they effort considerately to solve integrated problems that no learner could control individually. To support learner understanding when they occupied with problem activities, teachers can use lots of strategies of complex tasks by having the teacher guide the problem-solving process (Windschitl, 2002) .

2.2 Constructivism and religious faith

It is argued that a long-established approach to religious education is not inadequate to satisfy the needs of up to date world, for this reason, different approaches to religious education given particular attention in the last years. The literature overview shows that there is a lack of studies concerning how to apply the constructivist learning theory to religious education in schools. However, it claimed that pluralistic religious educational approaches such as illustrative are other helpful for constructivist learning than traditional religious (Kaymakcan, 2007).

There is two points may lead to some problems in implementing constructivist learning in religious education such the following:

Firstly, the epistemological perceptive of knowledge construction in religion is mainly different from the theory of subjective structure of constructivist theory of learning.

Secondly, the supporters of a religion think that the subsistence of objective religious doctrine, faith, behind the interpretation of individual believer of the religion (Kaymakcan, 2007) .

Receiving of information about the subject of religious content from the teacher is all the time is related to the constructions that pupils are applying. The succession of learning stared from encouraging self-centered interpretations of experience within consideration then other contextualized interpretations by interventions from pupils or teacher (Kaymakcan, 2007).

It should also be distinguished that the realization of constructivist approach to religious education, in a society that has a high level of religiosity and less religious perspectives. For this reason, a particular attention should be given to the issue of relativism in presenting religious teaching especially Islam (Kaymakcan, 2007).

The term relativistic has many meanings; two are important to discuss Islamic teaching. One meaning of relativistic or relativism means that there are no ideal perspectives and one should not distinguish any perspective more than another; although some disagree that constructivists must, by definition, embrace to this position. To criticize others beliefs because they believe that their religious tradition or mental theory is "right" or "makes the most sense" is unfair. As humans, all have their believe that the way of life and supported theories, regardless of the issue, make the most sense of experiences and preferred for helping in understand ourselves, others, and the world. Who have the same believe would intentionally hold same a perspective on any topic that we sincerely believe is less correct or less meaningful than some other perspective? Even those who insist that there are no perfect truths believe t and they often distinguish the belief that no belief should be preferred . Another meaning of relativistic or relativism means is "in relation to" another thing. In other words, how one knows, realizes, and construct meaning is strongly background. Again, one sees this in both religious traditions and theories. Persons espousal different traditions and theories are component of communities of meaning. education within these communities is socially implanted and not integrated in relation. Although the diverse groups in a bigger faith tradition agree in some general basics, there are interpretations and understandings of different theological values that are distinctive in each group. The sole meanings are relationally dispersed within the particular community of faith and, in a very real sense, are what plan the definite tradition from other traditions in the larger community of faith. Even within specific traditions, there are groups that hold distinguished perspectives that not only describe them from others in the larger community of faith, but also help them define themselves as unique within their own specific traditions (e.g. moderates, conservatives, liberals (Watts, 2011) .

2.3 Teaching and learning Islamic in diverse setting

Shari'a is the roof of rules, policy, morals, and normative frame covering all features and fields of life for Muslims. It represent the heavenly orders of God (the Qur'an), divinely-inspired Sunna (sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad record Hadith) as well as the human communication and realization of these sources. Shari'a is not limited to lawful rules; it is ordered by the divine and divinely inspired words, but it is not static and unchallengeable but active and dynamic in nature.

Islamic principle and Islamic regulation are without a doubt different that requests to be measured educationally. What is the impact of this difference on teaching and learning processes within the regulation? For instance, in teaching topic in religious studies, both curriculum and method is expected to cover the beginnings, the past and development of Islam and Muslims (Ali, 2011) .

As a result, Islamic teachers must always make a decision about whether the course will be delivered from a faith-based or a critical perspective. They have to adopt a different approach to teaching Islamic on the basis and the sources are known by Muslims to be the word of God from which no movement away is allowed (Ali, 2011) .

Another factor inform the instructor's and the students' is where such a courses are addressed. A quick review of offered courses on Islamic in Muslim and non-Muslim settings displays an irregular pattern. Courses offered in religious or Islamic studies will be educated by the philosophy and perspective of that discipline, and will have as their main content the study of Islam as a religious tradition. A few of courses on Islamic, based on social science or law, engage with the topic from a lawful and/or socio-legal perspective, drawing upon main and minor sources in addition to current state practice.

2.4 constructivism and Islamic teaching

Previous parts deals with constructivism and Islamic teaching background as separated topics . The following lines will join between the two in order to answer the research questions and the purpose which is examine the effectiveness of constructivism in Islamic teaching.

Islamic teaching and learning be evidence of that despite of ('Ilm)or knowledge of being a consecrated notion from God (Al-Attas, The concept of education in Islam, 1990) ,there is as well earthly knowledge, such as ulum aqliyyah (rational science) that has to be actively exposed by human beings themselves (Al-Attas, 1979) (Nasr, 1981)This shows that Islam identifies learning as an dynamic process and, therefore, that teachers should encourage and maintain learners to be active in knowledge building. Theoretically, this seems to be integrated with the essential values of constructivist learning theories, active knowledge construction (von Glaserfeld, 1984) (Vygotsky, 1962) where students are active learners who do not inactively acquire or understand a new knowledge (Duffy, 1992). This has been acknowledged by some Islamic writers (e.g., Ann Brosseau, 2000; Lubis et al., 2011; Salimi & Ghonoodi, 2011; Zarei & Esfandiari, 2008).

Another argument in this part shows that the role of a teacher in Islam is as a murabbi (an educator), mu'allim (an instructor or a transmitter of knowledge) and mu'addib (a trainer of soul and personality) at the same time (Halstead, 2004) (Husain, 2001). In other words, a teacher, from an Islamic perspective, is not only responsible for delivering knowledge to students, but also has the duty to build a student's personality and character, by helping, inspiring and directing their learning process. This means that the roles of a teacher in Islam as a guide in increasing and structure student knowledge and personality also interested supposedly to agree with constructivist learning theorie (Moore, 2000) (Wilson, 1997) .The teachers are responsible for the differences of students' in building positive teacher-student relationship (Brandes, 1986) (Lea, 2003) (Rogers, 1994). Teachers should also support students to discover their world and knowledge being dynamic in the learning process (Pines, 1986) (Simon, 1991).

The last concept of Islamic teaching that seems to be theoretically have the same aspect with constructivist learning is teaching techniques. Both Islamic perspective and constructivist perspective highlight the importance of active teaching ways. Islamic teaching applies various active teaching methods being accepted. This can refer to the education time of the Prophet where he implemented many teaching methods (Ahmed, 1968) (Hisham, 1989). Previous literature also indicated that Muslim scholars (such as Abu Hasan al-Basri, Imam Abu Hanifah,, Imam Malik, and Wasil Ibn 'Ata') implemented many methods of teaching including examination and testing, explanation and suggestion; problem solving, conversation, argument, submission, self-sufficient learning, and project based learning (Abdullah, 1994) Constructivist learning theories also acknowledge active teaching methods such as dialogue, communication, cooperation, searching of ideas and problem solving (Rogoff, 1990). Therefore, it seems that this last concept, active teaching method, is also theoretically the same with with Islamic learning philosophy.

finally, constructivism is a theory of learning which embraces that learning occurs on the origin of the previous social and cognitive experiences of the learner. The process of learning involves the structure of meaning concerning new phenomena using one's previous experience while encountering new learning experiences. In this sense, learning becomes an active process rather than a fixed model.

Discussion on Islamic philosophy of education confirm that the philosophy purpose is to construct persons who serving God, and prepared to carry the responsibility of khalifah (vicegerent). In order to fulfill this aim, Islamic education should be integrate a student's physical, spiritual, intellectual, and ethical field. therefore, Islamic education give importance to the theory and practice, with knowledge and action. In other words, according to the Islamic oercpective, teaching and learning should be active process between learners and teachers (Kasim, 2012) .

Although there may be criticism of using a Western educational concept such as constructivism in an Islamic context, the influences of Islamic education can be the bridge to draw the two traditions (Islamic and Western) together and to actually promote similar educational approaches and goals (Kasim, 2012).