Reflection on the Major Theories of Literacy Learning and Language Development

Document Type:Coursework

Subject Area:Education

Document 1

This section of the paper analyses three prominent theories; the Constructivism theory, Social-Constructivism theory, and the Interactionist theory. It describes each theory and then focuses on their similarities and differences. Proponents of the Constructivism theory especially Jean Piaget posit that learning and the acquisition of knowledge is a dynamic constructive process (Vishal & A, 2016). They argue that people make sense of things through the active interaction of their past experiences and their ideas. It is considered to be both a cognitive and behavioral theory (Amineh & Davatgar, 2015). The theory is heavily reliant on the structural nature of society (Dennis & Martin, 2007). Individuals are perceived to live in two dimensions of the world; the physical world and the symbolic world, of which the interactionist theory focuses on the latter (Segalman, 1978).

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The proponents of the theory posit that linguistic knowledge is acquired through communication, which involves the use of both language and symbols. Moreover, this theory focuses on the subjective nature of perspectives as opposed to the objective nature (Carter & Fuller, 2015). The Constructivism and social-constructivism theories are similar in that they focus on literacy/intellectual development as opposed to the interactionist theory which focuses on the linguistic development. Throughout middle school and high school, social-constructivism and reader-response were the major theories employed in my learning. For instance, whenever the teacher wanted to introduce a new topic in class especially the sciences, he would divide the class into groups, then assign us a subject to research on. As groups, we would conduct research based on the existing literature, then make conclusions by extrapolating on the information.

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This is essentially reader-response theory. The fact that we would discuss our own understanding of the concepts means that the theory used was social-constructivism. The theory encourages learning by reviewing existing text which gives the reader limitless ways of interpreting the contents of the text. Moreover, the reader is able to see a wide variety of perspectives, therefore widening the scope of the response that they may have concerning the contents of the text. Based on my own personal experience, I fail to see any of the theories addressed above that were ineffective. c. The Theories That I subscribe to I subscribe to two theories; the social-constructivism and the reader-response theories. The theory challenges the students and everyone, in general, to interpret concepts based on their own understanding.

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