Constructivism is a type of learning in which the learner forms, or constructs, much of what he or she learns or comprehends.
People actively construct or create their own subjective representations of objective reality.
New information is linked to prior knowledge, thus mental representations are subjective.
Piaget’s work provided the foundation on which constructionist theories are based.
Psychologist who developed the cognitive learning theory.
He observed many children for many years and perceived that children think very different from adults.
Children actively construct their own knowledge.
Children construct new knowledge as they move through different cognitive stages(see figure to the right).
Children interpret this knowledge differently as they progress through different stages.
Psychologist and educator that proposed learning is an active process in which the learner constructs new ideas based on current or past knowledge.
Constructive learners are participatory learners
actively engaged in the learning process
Constructivism emphasizes an integrated curriculum where students learn a subject in various ways or through many different activities.
Bruner’s theory provides a framework for instruction based on the study of cognition.
concept of cognition suggests than an individual progresses through different intellectual stages.
The learner selects and changes information to understand and make decisions, relying on higher-order thinking skills to solve a problem.
He felt that the teacher’s role should be to encourage students through exploration and inquiry.
Bruner believed in the Socratic method, which is when students learn how to analyze problems, think critically, an d articulate and defend their position.
He felt that the curriculum should be organized in a spiral manner so that students continually build upon what they have already learned, which is known as spiral curriculum(see diagram to the right).
Educational psychologist who developed social cognition.
Believed that learning was influenced by social development.
Believed that children progressed through different stages of cognitive development and it was not easy to achieve higher levels of thinking.
Vygotsky proposed that children have a zone of proximal development, which is the difference between the problem-solving ability that a child has learned and the potential that the child can achieve from help with a more advanced peer.
He believed that students should work collaboratively to share their different perspectives with each other .
He also proposed that teachers should discover the level of each child’s cognitive/social development, and build their learning experiences from that point (this is known as scaffolding).
Dewey was an educational psychologist, philosopher, and political activist who was an advocate for child-centered instruction.
Believed that learning should engage and expand the experiences of learners.
He encouraged educators to reflect on their strategies and create activities that combine concrete and practical relevance to student’ lives.
He believed that school was a social process
he felt that school should be viewed as an extension of society and students should play an active role in it
Dewey was part of the movement called progressive education, which focused on educating the whole child, physically, mentally, and socially.
Dewey has been called by some, The Father of American Education.
Teachers can integrate technology constructively by using things such as Web Quests, scavenger and treasure hunts, curriculum pages, and many other student-entered activities.
Teachers can create student-centered activities that actively engage students in the learning process.
Teachers can have the students use online programs to do math assignments, bring in technology for science experiments, and so on..
Teachers don’t always have to use technology.
They can have students learn material through workbooks, assignments in the textbook, scavenger hunts throughout the classroom, and classroom activities.
Students can integrate technology and the constructivist approach by completing a variety of activities while learning about a topic.
For example, can use books, videos, digital media in the media center, as well as informational Web sites to complete projects or activities. They can also use a netbook to write up their findings, study with electronic flashcards, create drawings for projects in a paint program on the computer, create spreadsheets on the computer to graph projects that are done, and many other things.
Students can also learn material constructively without technology.
They can conduct science experiments without technology, use paper flash cards for review, read the textbook to learn and complete assignments, complete group activities in the classroom with common objects, and so 0n…
Constructivism is a great theory of teaching to use as an educator. Hands-on activities makes information easier to learn and working in groups is a great way to build social skills and various ways to learn material.