Jerome Bruner's educational theories can be viewed as an extension of the constructivist approach. This was a child-centred approach developed by Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky that viewed the teacher as a facilitator. Piaget regarded students as learners in their own right; learning through their experiences; assimilating and accommodating information. Vygotsky saw the value in working with others; learning through talking with and observing peers as well as learning from their teacher. Bruner combined these approaches to develop his idea of scaffolding; the way in which ideas are presented can influence the way they are mastered.
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Build on what your students know. This is sometimes called the "spiral curriculum." Reintroduce ideas at different stages and at different levels so there is a continuous building of ideas. Help students develop what they have previously learnt. Encourage students to use their previous knowledge and experiences to solve problems -- to explore and to question. This then builds further knowledge to take forward to the next stage of learning.
Support your students' learning. Use a "scaffolding" approach. Provide plenty of support as students grasp new ideas and slowly remove that support as the students learn and become more confident. Use discussion and questioning, word banks, writing frames and concrete materials to scaffold learning.
Vary the presentation. Use different approaches to fit different content, providing opportunities and experiences that make students willing to learn. Provide stimuli and prompts to aid a lesson and enable students to grasp new concepts. Be a facilitator of your students learning; don't just transmit knowledge to your students, encourage and stimulate their own thinking and ideas.
Encourage play. Let students learn through play and fun activities. Have them work in groups to solve problems; ask them to work in a group to try and build a bridge from one point in the classroom to another, or make a marble run. They each bring their own knowledge and experience to the task and have to think creatively. They build on previous knowledge, learning from each other.
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