Becoming an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School

Feb 16th, 2018

Constructivism is an educational theory that students learn when they construct or make meaning. In a constructivist based classroom, the teacher and students pose problems and/or questions and students investigate and explore different ideas to find answers.Students build on previous knowledge, ideas, and experiences to grow their understanding.  

In traditional classrooms, teachers present material one subject at a time and then test students on that material (think: sage on the stage). In an IB Primary Years Program (PYP) classroom, students are at the center stage as teachers coach them to discover (think: guide on the side). For some schools, the race to prepare for high-stakes assessments/testing, has resulted in a loss of instructional practices that foster meaningful learning. At Annunciation, we have intentionally sought to minimize standardized testing to find a balance that allows us to get an adequate amount of information (to identify each student’s needs and monitor their growth), with gradually increasing our use of inquiry and transdisciplinary learning in classrooms.  

An important piece of making meaning is reflection. You may have noticed that our students are asked to reflect on their learning. We create opportunities for them to think about and discuss what was learned, “why it is important and now that I know this - so what?

We believe that learning through inquiry develops thinking, communication and social skills AND promotes intrinsic motivation for learning. In other words, the benefits of a constructivist approach are endless. 

Anne LaLonde Laux
International Baccalaureate (IB) Coordinator
Math and Literacy Enrichment Teacher & Coordinator