I.   Define assimilation, accommodation, and equilibration by example.


Assimilation – For example when my young niece saw an otter for the first time, he called it a cat. Using assimilation, he tried to match new experience with an existing scheme for identifying the animal.


Accommodation – Using the example mentioned above, accommodation took place when he added the scheme for identifying an otter to other systems for identifying animals.


Equilibration – My niece achieved equilibration when he was able to balance cognitive schemes and information from the environment.


  1. How is accommodation “better” than assimilation?

Accommodation is better than assimilation because with accommodation it’s just altering existing schemes or creating new ones in response to the new information. In other words it’s like upgrading the hardware of your computer

  1. When / How is equilibrium attained?

If we apply a particular scheme to an event or situation and the scheme works, then equilibrium exist.

  1. How does disequilibrium contribute to learning?

If the scheme does not produce satisfying  result then disequilibrium occurs.


II.  What current practices DO NOT conform to constructivist principles? How would proponents of a constructivist approach to teaching modify classroom experiences?  How will they justify such changes?

One would be expecting the students to be consistent in their ability to see the world from someone else’s point of view. We can avoid this by being sensitive to the possibility that students may have different understand/meaning for the same word.


III. How would you qualitatively differentiate “academic success” between traditional (direct instruction) and constructivist teaching? 

Being exposed to both world – traditional method when I was still studying in school and constructivist teaching in my current work, I’ve noticed that the students are more curious and they demonstrate remarkable willingness to learn compared to other students with traditional instruction. Just like many, both approaches have their own cons. What I do like about traditional instruction is its structure.

IV. Why might educators (and learners) who have grown used to traditional methods oppose shifting towards a constructivist approach to teaching-learning?

I think in general anyone who is presented with change will not accept it with open arms. There is always an element of being comfortable. I myself had a hard time shifting from traditional method to constructivist. Traditional is more structured and easy to execute while constructivist is more complex.