Rex Rice, former physics teacher, was an advocate for constructivist teaching at CHS. As a leader in the field of physics teaching, he helped introduce Clayton to the concept of “whiteboarding” a problem, where teachers guide students as they work through a problem before their peers.
In education, they call it constructivism, collaborative learning, discovery-based inquiry, but each of these names hides the same principles.
All describe teaching methods based on the belief that learning occurs best when students are actively involved in a process of meaning and knowledge construction as opposed to passively receiving information.
In Clayton, constructivist principles are clearly depicted in the Honors Freshman Physics Classroom. According to former physics teacher Rex Rice, “constructivism meant that students were to build their own understanding through the classroom and the laboratory while the teacher filled the role of a facilitator of growth instead of a disseminator of information.”
Students in honors freshman physics write on whiteboards to demonstrate their knowledge of certain topics or problems. The class works together to perfect the whiteboards to the best of the class’s ability while the teacher guides the class conversation. Clayton science classes are a microcosm of a larger social trend in education.
Math classes across the country are becoming more centered on group thinking to come to solutions rather than solitary understanding.
Social studies classes are starting to revolve around classroom discussion rather than solitary research and information gathering techniques.
For the student, this means that the classroom experience is one of constant interaction with their peers.