Reading Philosophies

Reading Philosophies

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Reading Philosophies

Over the years, the merging of philosophy and education has imposed significant effects especially in regards to the profession of teaching. Accordingly, educators, as well as philosophers, have debated the application of measures that will be effective regarding passing information and knowledge to the learner. In this particular discourse, the contention is based on two particular approaches. These comprise the constructivist instruction and the explicit instructional approaches. Despite being different in the way they are implemented, both approaches are implemented on a routine basis in numerous educational settings due to the unique significance they impose especially in maximizing the disparities that learners commonly express, particularly in understanding different fields of study such as reading. It is arguable that the constructivist instruction approach is preferable for both the learner and the teacher since it allows the learner to construct or develop his or her understanding while working with particular concepts and thinking about their procedures while permitting the instructor to relinquish significant control over the learning process to the student.

Analysis of Reading Philosophies

The Constructivist Instruction Approach

            In constructivist instruction, the teaching process constitutes a learner-driven procedure that allows learners to assume control of the instruction. In this situation, learners develop their understanding of the information provided to them by their respective teachers (Johnson, 2004). Rather than receive information from a single authoritative resource of information deemed to possess the correct answers, learners integrate their personal external experiences and standpoints in addition to the viewpoints and perspectives exhibited by other learners (Johnson, 2004). This ultimately enables them to create or construct their personal understanding and comprehension of concepts. Since the method places emphasis on the significance of exposure to a miscellany of standpoints, the constructivist approach assumes that every person sorts through input from the environment that surrounds him or her via a filter of personal experiences (Johnson, 2004). Hence, each person will possess a disparate understanding of information and input from the external surroundings. As such, the learning of new information is dependent on prior comprehension and may be construed in the setting of present understanding rather than isolated from the current knowledge (Johnson, 2004).

The Explicit Instruction Approach

Explicit instruction accords more responsibility to the instructor in terms of explanation, simulation, and provision of opportunities aimed at practice with significant feedback. Accordingly, the instructor ensures the implementation of a reinforced academic focus and utilizes time to provide reasonable and effective instruction to learners, which is aimed at initiating and supporting their respective learning activities (Tait-McCutcheon, Drake, & Sherley, 2011). Contrary to the constructivist approach, the explicit instruction approach enables the teacher to be solely responsible for the transmission of an external comprehension of information to the student (Tait-McCutcheon, Drake, & Sherley, 2011). In addition to this, the student or the learner is required to process the understanding forwarded to him or her by the instructor (Tait-McCutcheon, Drake, & Sherley, 2011). Rather than allow learners to formulate their understanding, explicit instruction enables learners to adapt their individual inherent framework of understanding to exhibit conformity towards external information (Tait-McCutcheon, Drake, & Sherley, 2011). Additionally, the method under discussion possesses an array of teaching strategies that focus on the provision of direct instruction to learners since the information that is disseminated to the learner or the student is linear since it follows phases that are specific to the instruction and the substance of the topic or subject in question.

Method Used In Learning Reading

            From an individual standpoint, the method that was applied in respect to learning how to read comprised the explicit instruction approach. Accordingly, the teacher was the sole individual responsible for teaching the respective subject. Foremost, it was evident that the instructor possessed much of the decision-making responsibilities when it came to learning how to read (Behrmann & Souvignier, 2015). The teacher would provide the reading material, provide instruction on processes such as the pronunciation of vowels and consonants, and lead the class by reading certain words aloud first. Additionally, the instructor engaged singularly in the demonstration and explanation of certain reading skills that included decoding skills, language rules, and phonemic awareness (Behrmann & Souvignier, 2015). Hence, most of the information that the students gained regarding different words were based on the teacher’s initial understanding. Additionally, the instructor directed lessons on specific regulations of language, which was particularly influential since it established various aspects of reading such as intonation (Behrmann & Souvignier, 2015). In addition to this, the teacher implemented visual aids, which were effective in providing information on subjects such as the sounds of each letter of the alphabet. The aids used in the reading exercises comprised flash cards and dictations.

Apart from the employment of reading activities, the instructor also engaged in the utilization of testing and evaluation approaches, which constitute an imperative aspect of the explicit instruction approach. Accordingly, the application of testing in direct instruction coincides with the instructor’s need to gratify certain goals (Behrmann & Souvignier, 2015). The teacher further ensures that most (if not, all) students or learners attain fair learning advancements by carefully selecting proper tasks and objectives, clearly exhibiting information on the subject matter and strategies aimed at the provision of solution (Behrmann & Souvignier, 2015). In this respect, the instructor provided assessment tests and examinations that openly exhibited the performance of the students in reading, which was evidenced by standardized tests, verbal interpretation, or construction of evaluations that posed right or incorrect words or terms phonemically and the implementation of questions for comprehensions and passages that were mainly used for reading.

Preferred Approach as Learner and Teacher

As a learner and a teacher, the preferable approach comprises the constructivist approach. Constructivist approaches assume that learning takes place as the students integrate facts and information exuded from the surrounding environment with personal pre-existing frameworks of knowledge to create an individualized understanding of sense (Johnson, Johnson, Sheppard, & Smith, 2005). Hence, as a learner, one is subjected to a process that enables the advancement of individual understanding without necessarily rejecting personal yet past understandings on the subject matter. As a teacher, the implementation of constructivism allows the learner to gain a practical understanding of the subject matter (Raidal & Volet, 2009). In contrast to explicit instruction, the constructivist approach enables the learner to formulate a self-sufficient position that exhibits his or her construction of the topic in question (Raidal & Volet, 2009). In this respect, the learner can exercise his or her thoughts on a particular matter without depending considerably or fully on his or her teacher’s thoughts and perspectives about it (Raidal & Volet, 2009). Simply, it encourages independent thought, which is an imperative skill that enables significant growth among the learners or students.

Conclusion

The constructivist approach and the explicit instruction method are two different teaching philosophies that resonate strongly in the contemporary field of education. On the one hand, constructivism allows the learner to formulate his or her understanding of the subject matter by assuming responsibility while on the other hand; the explicit instruction approach places the responsibility of teaching on the instructor. Even both measures are considerably different due to the opposing qualities they possess. They can be applied positively in the field of reading and provide an effective platform for learning.

 

References

Behrmann, L., & Souvignier, E. (2015). Effects of fit between teachers’ instructional beliefs and didactical principles of reading programs. European Journal of Psychology of Education: A Journal of Education and Development, 30(3), 295-312.

Johnson, D., Johnson, R., Sheppard, S., & Smith, K. (2005). Pedagogies of engagement: Classroom-based practices. Journal of Engineering Education, 94(1), 1-15.

Johnson, G. (2004). Constructivist remediation: Correction in context. International Journal of Special Education, 19(1), 72-88.

Raidal, S. L., & Volet, S. E. (2009). Preclinical students’ predispositions towards social forms of instruction and self-directed learning: a challenge for the development of autonomous and collaborative learners. Higher Education, 57(5), 577-596.

Tait-McCutcheon, S., Drake, M., & Sherley, B. (2011). From direct instruction to active construction: Teaching and learning basic facts. Mathematics Education Research Journal, 23(3), 321-345.

 

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