Volume 52(4) - 2011 - DOI: 10.5032/jae.2011.04056

Abstract:

Experiential learning is a hallmark of undergraduate education programs in the agricultural sciences, and is aligned with constructivist learning theory. This interpretivist qualitative study used historical research methodology to analyze the epistemological underpinnings of constructivism and explore the construct's relationship to undergraduate research, a particular experiential learning context which extends a student's knowledge to scholarly application through discovery–based problem solving. Two pedagogical principles of constructivist learning theory emerged: that learning should be authentic, active and student–centered, and that it must also be facilitated through social negotiation. Both factors are inherent in the learning process when faculty mentors scaffold the creation of new knowledge via undergraduate research. Agricultural educators can take advantage of parallels between constructivism and the scholarship of discovery
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