The learning activity for this project is an eighth grade menu creation project that requires students in a Family and Consumer Sciences class to create their own restaurant and menu using their knowledge of menu pricing, menu design, and nutrition. This activity is important for the students because it covers various standards throughout the content areas and the Family and Consumer Sciences standards of Consumer Science and Family Resource Management, Nutrition and Wellness, and Hospitality, Food Science, Dietetics, Food Production and Services. Furthermore, this activity also incorporates the program Skype Classroom, which allows students to be exposed to different people and cultures throughout the state, country, and world. In order to make this activity more engaging for students, students will be interviewing restaurant owners and other people that work directly in the restaurant industry, using the program Skype Classroom. In addition to using Skype Classroom, students will be using computers to access the website http://www.webstaurantstore.com/menu-designer.html. This website will be used for creating the menu to give it a professional look. The outcomes of this activity are that students will be able to make diverse connections throughout the state, country, and world and will be able to better understand the food service industry.
Constructive Learning Theory
Constructive learning is defined as, “…an activity process in which learners construct new idea or concepts based on their current and past knowledge” (Keskin and Metcalf, 2011, p. 203). Corte (2012) also states that under the constructive learning theory, “learners are viewed not as passively receiving information, but as actively constructing knowledge and skills through reorganisation of their previously acquired mental structures” (p. 35). The constructive learning theory also focuses on and incorporates problem solving and decision making applications, along with collaboration and interaction between students (Keskin and Metcalf, 2011, p. 203).
The constructive learning theory is appropriate for the menu creation learning activity because it builds upon the previous knowledge that the students have obtained in Family and Consumer Sciences in seventh grade. Also, through the use of technology, students are able to make their own decisions regarding their menu items, menu prices, and their menu design. Furthermore, collaboration is encouraged in this learning activity because students will be able to help each other when designing menus and coming up with menu prices.
One of the points that is important to understand when discussing the constructive learning theory is that this theory is all student-centered. Bofill (2013) writes, “One key principle of constructivism is that learners play an active role in developing their own knowledge. Lev Vygotstky, one of the most well-known learning theorists around constructivism, considered a learners’ environment to include peers, prior knowledge and experience, and social and political experiences (Schunk, 2011)” (p. 32). Bofill (2013) also asserts, “…a learning environment should allow for collaborative work among students who are at different academic levels with the more advanced peers or faculty guiding the less advanced peers. The role of the faculty is also to guide the learning from the student’s current knowledge to a higher level” (p. 32).When students are able to take ownership of their learning and working with their peers to make educational decisions, student engagement, motivation, and achievement are much higher than if they were to only receive information they have to be taught.
Menu Creation Learning Activity Breakdown
Teaching and Learning
Pre Skype Classroom: http://www.schedulefly.com/rou/
Skype Classroom activity: Don’t understand how it works? Don’t think it’s beneficial? Simply confused!? Watch this video to be more “in the know”!
Menu Designer: http://www.webstaurantstore.com/menu-designer.html
To get a more in-depth activity explanation read the paper below by clicking the link. You will read the full in-depth explanation of the learning activity, its purpose, and how the project should be assessed. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!