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Literacy, Cooperative Learning and Constructivism

COURSE:  ETEC 530 (Elective Course), Constructivist Strategies for E-Learning, Course Description


TITLE:  Literacy, Cooperative Learning and Constructivism


To select an issue or area of interest within the situated teaching/learning paradigm and constructivism and write a paper in which I critically discuss the issue or area.


Based on my teaching situation, grade one, French Immersion, I chose to write about literacy, formal cooperative learning and constructivism.  This topic lends itself well to the daily work that is emphasized in my classroom, specifically literacy activities.  As I teach in a French Immersion context, whereby social interaction and collaboration are important factors in my student’s learning.  Students are provided with many opportunities to work together during daily literacy centers which allows teachers to personalize student centered learning by providing opportunities for cooperative learning.  Through this research, I was introduced to the characteristics of exemplary first-grade literacy instruction as described by Morrow, Tracey, Gee Woo, & Pressley (1999):

  • Physical environment in the classroom
  • Writing experiences
  • How skills are taught
  • Teachable moments
  • Content area connections with literacy
  • Classroom management

Reflecting on these characteristics now, I realize how closely related they are to the principles of UDL (representation, expression, and engagement) and the goal of creating flexible learning environments for every student.  Each one of these characteristics can have an impact on how teachers represent the information that they are teaching, how their students choose to express what they know and how their students engage with the material.  Although I didn’t address UDL in this paper, by understanding more about cooperative learning and constructivism, I believe that this knowledge prompted me to explore the link between UDL and literacy centers in my Literature Review and Research Proposal, the following semester in ETEC 500.


Download .pdf version:  Literacy, Cooperative Learning and Constructivism – Camille Maydonik


Morrow, L. M., Tracey, D., Woo, D., & Pressley, M. (1999). Characteristics of exemplary first-grade instruction. Reading Teacher, 52, 462-476.


representation    |     expression    |     engagement