Constructivism: •A learning theory in which the learner constructs what he or she learns or comprehends. •Considers learning as an active and constructive process. •Theorists Associated: Piaget, Vygotsky, Dewey, Vico, Rorty, Bruner
Social Development Theory•Vygotsky•Constructivist Theory•Social development theory that argues the importance of social interaction as it precedes development. Cognition can be achieved through socialization with others.
Communities of practice•Lave and Wenger•Constructivist Theory•Groups of people who share a concern or passion for something they do can learn better about it and grow in that subject if they interact regularly with others who share that specific common interest.
Discovery Learner•Bruner•Constructivist Theory•A method of inquiry-based instruction that allows students to grow through problem solving and discovering the answers for themselves.
Stage theory of Cognitive Development•Piaget•Constructivist Theory•Stage theory that is a description of cognitive development as four stages: sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete, and formal.
Piaget’s Stages• Sensorimotor (0-2): infant builds and understanding of himself/herself and figures out how things work through interacting with their surroundings.• Preoperational (2-4): objects classified by physical features; abstract conceptualization can not yet be reached.• Concete Operational (7-11): physical experience accumulates and and accomodation increased; beginning of abstract thinking.• Formal Operational (beginning at 11-15): cognition is fully reached and concrete objects are no longer needed to make rational judgements; capable of upper level thinking.
Classroom Implications• Constructivism can be used in virtually every classroom setting as it allows for children to create their own learning setting.• The communities of practice theory can be utilized by creating small groups of children who all are excited about the same things and can learn by bouncing ideas off of each other. The use of elective classes utilizes this theory to its fullest potential because students in the classroom all have some level of excitement for the subject being learned, or they would not have signed up for that class.• Discovery learning seems to cater more toward higher level thinkers, such as students who work well in a math or science class. Experiments allow students to work out problems on their own, and learn through doing, not by seeing.• Stage theory is really only useful for teachers to get an idea about the level of thinking their students are cognitively able to achieve. Knowing these boundaries can help teachers when they are making lesson plans and/or activities for the class.
How teachers can use Constructivism• Take on role of facilitator instead of director• Provide students with raw data and primary materials• Use cognitive terminology such as “classify”, “analyze” and “create”• Build upon student’s previous knowledge and facilitate directional thinking• Encourage critical thinking by asking questions and promoting inquiry within the group• Provide enough time to students to construct their own meaning
Constructivism Instruction with technology• Constructivism can be taught well with interactive technology programs that allow students to learn through trial and error and participate in cooperative learning. There are many websites that allow for this type of learning in various subject areas. For example, an Art History class might want to utilize the Louvre’s online virtual tour to get a better understanding of the Louvre and see it’s artwork at a more personal viewpoint than one would through a book alone.
Sources• http://www.learning-theories.com/category/constructivist-theorie• http://www.learning-theories.com/constructivism.html• Book: Teachers Discovering Computers-Integrating Technology in a Connected World• http://www.ndt-ed.org/TeachingResources/ClassroomTips/Cons