SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVISM AS A CATALYST FOR TRANSFORMATIVE LEARNING :AFFIRMING STUDENTS’ OWN EXPERIENCES AS CRITICAL AND RELEVANT FRAMES OF REFERENCE IN NEW LEARNING SETTINGS
University of Johannesburg (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN13 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Page: 3532 (abstract only)
Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The mounting public criticism of the rapid downward spiral of the South African school education has caused immense disquiet about student academic preparedness with negative implications for teaching and learning in higher education (HE). A perception of an educationally weak student underlies stakeholder academic interactions during and beyond lectures. Within this context a pedagogical paradigm shift is an imperative in particular for HEIs as they are bound to take accountability to close the apparent academic skills gaps. Currently the trend in HE is to implement academic support programmes that place students at the centre of learning and concurrently promoting academic professional development.
This qualitative study reports on the use of social constructivism learning theory as a catalyst for transformative learning, enabling students’ awareness and acknowledgement of their prior knowledge as significant, necessary and unconditionally valuable for their successful navigation of the HE terrain. The findings revealed students’ exploration of the self through a skin analysis class activity as relevant to the content within a module. The task facilitated the attainment of self-efficacy and an assurance of their prior knowledge frameworks, which undoubtedly stimulated students’ facilitatory role for their peers during presentations’ feedback and consultations.
Keywords: Academic preparedness, skin analysis, self-efficacy, social constructivism, transformative learning.