What is the 5E Instructional Model?

The 5E Instructional Model is a constructivist model with 5 stages: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate.

The first stage of the model starts by accessing the students’ prior knowledge. Then, connections are established between this prior knowledge and new knowledge, which is acquired by means of investigation and discoveries. The 5E model provides direct instruction of ideas that students would not be able to discover on their own, as well as opportunities to demonstrate understanding through practical application.

Developed by the Biological Science Curriculum Study (BSCS), the 5E Model has been used since the 1980s in many elementary, middle, and high schools in the United States. Case studies of the 5E instructional model used against other forms of science instruction provide proof of an increased mastery of subject matter, the development of a more sophisticated scientific reasoning, and an increased interest in science.

What is constructivism?

Constructivism is a learning and teaching model which assumes all individuals have prior knowledge, concepts, and ideas that act as a starting point from which to understand and integrate new knowledge. The constructivist model requires active learners who activate their prior knowledge and concepts to compare them and contrast them with new information. From both sets of knowledge and their contrast, learners build new models to understand reality.

Constructivism implies comprehensive learning through experience, allowing students to apply new knowledge in new contexts. Constructivism avoids the mere memorization of content imposed by the transmissive model, which is often void of comprehension.