The Copenhaver Institute is committed to supporting educators as they seek to foster within students a lifelong love of learning. Toward this purpose, the Institute draws from a constructivist understanding of teaching and learning, a theoretical basis consistent with recent research and reform in education. From this philosophical position, the Institute structures its format, informs its decision-making process and guides its development.
It is the position of the Institute that a constructivist approach to teaching and learning is 1) grounded in the belief that learning is meaningful for individuals only when they play an active role in constructing knowledge; 2) compatible with pedagogical studies emerging from brain research; 3) suited for democratic education; and 4) responsive to the changing educational needs of the information age.
Constructivist in nature, the Institute is committed to research and practice that encourage:
- Literacy opportunities which are student-centered and activity-based;
- Problem-based learning experiences;
- Personalized education that scaffolds learning by differentiating for students' learning readiness, interests, and learning profiles;
- Learning communities committed to positive and productive relationships;
- The use of critical reflection and analysis for shaping and transforming information into new understandings, roles, and responsibilities;
- Opportunities to use literacy toward the development of human knowledge, skills, and understandings;
- Contributions from diverse perspectives to encourage both individual and community understandings of subject matter;
- Opportunities for all students to become active contributors within the classroom community;
- Awareness that teaching is an intellectual process and activity that requires complex decision-making and understandings.