Interview with Dr Jean-Yves Le Corre, Chief Editor, www.bestofmanagement.com. ‘ On-line constructivist models of learning are an essential tool to prepare new generations coping with world complexity’

N Chidana (Liaison Office, Philippines): Why shall educators and students pay so much attention to constructivist models of learning on line’. Is that may just a new ‘fashion’ or what is the real value here in those new models ?

Dr Jean-Yves Le Corre: Well, I think everybody will acknowledge that everyday’s life has become more unpredictable for everybody. In france for example, but many other countries as well, studies show that most of workers will have several careers experiences in their life, may need to change jobs several times, and also because or aspirations or priorities may also change all along our careers, but the pace of this has accelerated because of multiple factors including technology., lifestyle, globalisation… And then the question is that the way we acquire new knowledge becomes as self-driven process … I mean that if you want to know about something, you should not try to get that knowledge from only others, by also from yourself.. For example, in the MPP business simulation, the best performing teams are most often those who capitalise on the experience and knowledge of their members. Team X won because one member had some experience and knowledge in B2B marketing, and then the team realised that B2B2 marketing can help MPP succeed, then they manage to build a strategic plan around this, because the team quickly grasped key information on B2B marketing which makes sense to them in the context of the MPP company. It does not mean that B2B marketing is the only winning option for MPP, but as far as you manage to construct a plan around that option and create a new MPP company around this, then your team can succeeed…

N Chidana (Liaison Office, Philippines): What are constructivist models of learning ?

Dr Jean-Yves Le Corre: this is not a new thing at all. Jonnassen, Piaget and others have laid the foundations for this concept. What is new is that our environment has changed, and interestingly this creates more opportunity for constructivist based learning, new tools, and also digital technology can help to create constructivist learning environments, which definitely poses quite many challenges to educators and learners. In simple words, a constructivist learning environment is an environment where learners can effectively learn by themselves through different steps and activities of ‘knowledge constructions”. At some stage you will gather information on the internet, at some others listen to some experts, then talk to your colleagues, …. or talk to a virtual ‘client’, because self-driven knowledge should always respond to a problem which the new knowledge you are building can solve. (otherwise what’s the use of creating this new knowledge ?.)> So indeed in constructivist learning, learning is a meaningful experience, a personal story, where aspirations and creativity play a role because learners are constantly in a flux of ‘ I want to do this, but I dont know that… then i need to find a way to know more on this, then it will help me… ‘ It is , indeed a creative and aspiring ‘discovery’ process.

N Chidana (Liaison Office, Philippines): What is the role of the teacher in such learning mode ?

Dr Jean-Yves Le Corre: firstly it is about creating such an environment and making it work on line, like ‘ a learning ecosystem’, then all along the teaching experience the teacher is more a facilitator and an observer of the learning process. I think there are two main challenges here; first is how to prepare learners to learn in a different way which might seem more demanding to them. Second is to ‘step aside’ i.e. be able to monitor the process of learning but not letting students think ‘the teachers know.. lets ask the teacher’. In constructivist learning approach, the teacher should not know much, because in constructivist learning approach’, Knowledge can only build on previous knowledge… ‘the knowledge you need is that what the teachers know, but what is that you really need to know, which can be found somewhere else. As far as this new knowledge i can find, through information, data, can help me to create something that is new to myself and to others, then this is more important than listening to the teacher. And because we know that in a complex environment , it is difficult to replicate or reproduce models so we are constantly in a situation where we need to create something new to respond to the environment. This indeed, might represent a radical change of mindset and attitude to learning.

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