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  • 1. Constructivism
    By: Jessica VanSlyke
  • 2. Constructivism is…
    Type of learning where learner forms or constructs much of what he/she learns or comprehends
    Belief that humans generate knowledge and meaning from their experiences
    Allows learner to actively participate
    Allows learner to think critically
    Allows learner to analyze a problem
  • 3. Piaget
    (1896-1980): Psychologist who came up with the Cognitive Learning Theory because he believed that children think very differently than adults.
    Believed children learn through senses and motor actions; learn through symbols and images; adopt logical thinking, learning facts, and learning new points of view; and then adopt the ability to think abstractly, formulate hypotheses, understand cause and effect, and form their own beliefs and morals
    Adaptation: Cognitive understanding or development at any given time
    Assimilation: gain new knowledge as they experience new things and learn new information
    Accommodation: Fit new info/experiences into lives to change knowledge base and make sense of environment and world around them
    His idea pointed classroom learning in the direction of Web Quests, scavenger/treasure hunts, curriculum pages, and other student-centered activities that actively engage children in the learning process
  • 4. Bruner
    (1915-) American Psychologist who believed learning is an active process where learner constructs new ideas of concepts based on current or past knowledge.
    Cognition: belief that individuals progress through different intellectual stages
    He felt the teachers role should be to encourage students through exploration and inquiry toward discovery
    Teachers should try to encourage students to discover concepts by themselves and should engage students by providing activities that guide students and create opportunities for discussion
    Socratic method: when students learn how to analyze problems, to think critically about their own point of view and the opinions of others, as well as to articulate and defend their position
    Spiral Curriculum: He believed the curriculum should be organized in a spiral manner so students continually build on what they have already learned
  • 5. Vygotsky
    (1896-1934) Psychologist who developed social cognition. Believed that learning was influenced significantly by social development
    Believed that a child’s social environment could positively or negatively affect the child’s cognitive development
    Zone of Proximal Development: 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, such as a teacher
    Collaborative learning: the grouping and pairing of students for the purpose of achieving an academic goal
    Scaffolding and Schemata: build or construct learning experiences from the level of each child’s cognitive/social development; creating a model mental framework for understanding and remembering info
    Anchored instruction: model for technology-based learning and is a form of instruction where the student already has learned concepts and info which form on their basis of knowledge, or anchor; motivates students to build new ideas and anchor them to what they have already learned
  • 6. Dewey
    (1859-1952) Sometimes called the “Father of American Education” Psychologist, philosopher, and political activist who was an advocate for child-centered instruction. Believed that learning should engage and expand the experience of the learners. Teachers must reflect on strategies and create activities that combine concrete and practical relevance to students’ lives
    Believed education is a social process. Viewed school as a community. Believed students learned by doing and should be allowed to construct, create, and actively inquire.
    Progressive education: focused on educating the whole child, physically, mentally, and socially, and not on just the dispensation of facts and info
    Pragmatism: the truth of a theory could be determined only if a theory worked
    Advocated educational reform, pursued philosophy, and supported many political issues
    Proposed that education begins with experience
  • 7. Applications for Teachers
    Teachers are facilitators, must turn the attention toward the content and the learner, not the lecture or the teaching
    Reciprocal Questioning: students work together to ask and answer questions
    Jigsaw classroom: students become “experts” on one part of a group project and teach it to the others in the group
    Structured controversies: students work together to research a particular controversy
    Dynamic Assessment: alternative to testing; two-way process involving interaction between both teacher and student
    The teacher must have a degree of structure, but it must be accompanied by a level of flexibility
  • 8. Applications for Students
    Student/learner is unique, complex, and multidimensional. There is importance on the background and culture of the student.
    Responsibility is on the student, therefore there is a need to actively participate
    Sustaining motivation to learn is strongly dependent on the student’s confidence in his/her potential for learning
    Students must collaborate with others, including peers, in order to arrive at a shared understanding of the truth of a specific field or subject
    If students have to present and train new contents with their classmates, a non-linear process of collective knowledge-construction will be set up.
    Students must discover, enjoy, interact, and arrive at their own, socially verified version of truth
  • 9. Applications for Myself
    Cooperative learning: group learning; working with others to come to a common goal or result, scavenger hunts
    Problem-solving: brainstorming, analyzing situations, research, trial and error
    Open-ended questioning: Ask questions where the student must find the answer for themselves through research, either as an individual or in a group
    Dialogue or discussion: Begin a discussion where the students are the teachers, they find answers to their questions by feeding off of each other
    Challenge hypothesis: “Sink or Swim”- gather objects that could either sink or swim and have children guess which one will do which before testing it; science projects
    Manipulatives: play dough, Legos, flour and water, etc...
    Physical materials: games, exercise, cooking, etc...; VERB
    Interactive materials: computer games such as leap frog, Mavis Beacon typing, etc... ; classroom bingo, memory, classroom jeopardy, Web Quests
  • 10. More Information
    Constructivism for Mathematics:
    Constructivism for Science:
    Constructivism for the General classroom:
  • 11. References
    Background Information from: Shelly, Gary, Glenda Gunter, and Randolph Gunter. Integrating Technology and Digital Media in the Classroom. 6th ed. United States: Cengage Learning, 2010. 367-390. Print.
    Application Information from:
    • "Constructivism." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia . Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 15 Apr 2010. Web. 18 Apr 2010. <>.
    • 12. "Constructing Knowledge in the Classroom ." Classroom Compass . Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, 1995. Web. 18 Apr 2010. <>.
    • 13. "Collaboration." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia . Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 15 Apr 2010. Web. 18 Apr 2010.<[1]=Last&firstName[1]=First&titleArticle=Constructing+Knowledge+in+the+Classroom+&titleWork=Classroom+Compass+&yearPublished=1995&publisher=Southwest+Educational+Development+Laboratory&dateRetrieved=18+Apr+2010&medium=Web&>.
    All picture graphics are from Yahoo search engine on Piaget, Bruner, Vygotsky, and Dewey and others are from clipart