Jean Piaget (1896-1980)
Children are active learners and do not need
motivation from adults to learn.
Jerome Bruner (1915- )
Learning is an active process in which the learner
constructs new ideas or concepts based on his
current or past knowledge.
Learning is influenced significantly by social
Learning should engage and expand the
experiences of the learners.
▪ Sensorimotor: Learning takes
place through a child’s senses and
▪ Preoperational: Children begin to
use symbols and images to learn.
▪ Concrete operational: Children
begin to think logically.
▪ Formal operational: Children are
able to formulate a hypothesis and
understand cause and effect.
Adaption is a child's cognitive understanding at any given time.
Assimilation is what is perceived in the outside world is incorporated
into the internal world.
Accommodation is when the internal world has to accommodate itself
to the evidence with which it is confronted and therefore adapt to it
The difference between the problem solving
ability that a child has learned and the
potential that the child can achieve from
collaboration with a more advanced peer or
expert (collaborative learning).
Scaffolding refers to the idea that
specialized instructional supports need
to be in place in order to best facilitate
learning when students are first
introduced to a new subject.
Anchored instruction refers to
instruction in which the material to be
learned is presented in the context of
an authentic event that serves to
anchor or situate the material and
allows it to be examined from multiple
focused on educating each
child in a variety of ways:
Pragmatism says theory is
valuable only for its practical
The teacher becomes a guide for the learner,
providing bridging or scaffolding, helping to
extend the learner's zone of proximal
The student is encouraged
to develop skills such as
reflective thinking and
independent learner is
motivated to generate,
discover, build and enlarge
her/his own framework of
Students primarily work alone
Curriculum is presented part to whole, with
emphasis on basic skills.(bottom - up)
Strict adherence to a fixed curriculum is
Curricular activities rely heavily on
textbooks of data and manipulative
Students are viewed as "blank slates" onto
which information is etched by the teacher.
Teachers generally behave in a didactic
manner, disseminating information to
Teachers seek the correct answers to
validate student lessons.
Assessment of student learning is viewed as
separate from teaching and occurs almost
entirely through testing.
Students primarily work in groups.
Curriculum is presented whole to part with
emphasis on the big concept.(top - down)
Pursuit of student questions is highly
Curricular activities rely heavily on primary
Students are viewed as thinkers with
emerging theories about the world.
Teachers generally behave in an interactive
manner mediating the environment for
Teachers seek the student's point of view in
order to understand student learning for
use in subsequent conceptions.
Assessment of student learning is
interwoven with teaching and occurs
through teacher observation of students at
work and through exhibitions and
Experimentation: students individually perform
an experiment and then come together as a class
to discuss the results.
Research projects: students research a topic and
can present their findings to the class.
Field trips: This allows students to put the
concepts and ideas discussed in class in a real-
world context. Field trips would often be followed
by class discussions.
Films: These provide visual context and therefore
bring another sense into the learning experience.
Class discussions: This technique is used in all of
the methods described above. It is one of the
most important distinctions of constructivist
With technology becoming
such a huge part of education,
it fits very nicely into the
Through interactive computer
games, power point
presentations, movies and online
resources, teachers will be able
to expand their constructive
lessons and students will be able
to gain even more knowledge in
a more varied way.
I know I will use constructivism in my own
teaching. I agree very strongly with the
quote, “I hear and I forget. I see and I
remember. I do and I understand.” Active
participation is so important in teaching.