Summary: Constructivism as a paradigm or worldview posits that learning is an active, constructive process. The learner is an information constructor. People actively construct or create their own subjective representations of objective reality. New information is linked to to prior knowledge, thus mental representations are subjective. (Learning-Theories.com)
Constructivism in Detail
Researchers think lecture-based instruction is limited when it comes to educating our learners today.
Believe in actively participating in the learning process; using critical thinking skills to analyze a problem.
“ Confucius once said, ‘I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.’ Constructivists agree that students learn by doing” (Shelly and Gunter 376).
Developed the Cognitive Learning Theory with four key stages:
Piaget felt all children work towards equilibrium and go through adaptation, assimilation, accomodation.
Believed the students learn by using previous knowledge
Teach students to use the socratics method.
Developed Social Cognition
Learning is significantly influenced by social development.
Zone of Proximal Development and Scaffolding play key roles in Social Cognition
Believed that learning should engage and expand the exxperiences of the learners.
Cognitive Learning Theory
Sensorimotor - “when learning takes place primarily through the child’s senses and motor actions.”
Preoperational - “when children begin to use symbols and images.”
Concrete Operational - “children begin to think logically. This is the stage when children are beginning to learn many facts. They can also begin to understand other points of view besides their own.”
Formal Operational - “Children transition from concrete thinking to more abstract. They can formulate a hypothesis and understand cause and effect.”
( Integrating Technology and Digital Media in the Classroom; Shelly and Gunter 377-8).
“ Proposed the learning is an active process in which the learner constructs new ideas or concepts base on his current or past knowledge.”
Socratic method- “when students learn how to analyze provlems, to hink critically about their own point of view and the opinion of others, as well as to articulate and defend their position.”
“ Felt that the curriculum shoud be organized in a spiral manner so that students continually build upon what they already have learneed; this approach is called the spiral curriculum .”
( Integrating Technology and Digital Media in the Classroom; Shelly and Gunter 378-9)
Developed the Social Development (Cognition) Theory
“ Every function in the child’s cultural development appears twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level; first, between people (interpsychological) and then inside the child (intrapsychological).” (Vygotsky, 1978).
Believed that social interaction and social learning was key in a child’s process of cognitive development.
The More Knowledgeable Other (MKO) - “refers to anyone who has a better understanding or a higher ability level than the learner... normally thought of as being a teacher, coach, or older adult, but the MKO could also be peers, a younger person, or even computers.”
The Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) - “the distance between a student’s ability to perform a task under adult guidance and/or with peer collaboration and the student’s ability solving the problem independently. According to Vygotsky, learning occurred in this zone.”
Learning-Theories.com: Knowledge Base and Webliography
“ Believed that for learning should engage and expand the experiences of the learners... Like Vygotsky, Dewey believed that education was a social process. He viewed school as a community that represented a larger picture.”
John Dewey is known for his important “part of a movement in the early 1900s that was called progressive education.”
He has been linked to movements such as pragmatism.
“ Pragmatists believed that that the truth of ta theory could be determined only id a theory worked.”
By some he has been called the father of American Education.
( Integrating Technology and Digital Media in the Classroom; Shelly and Gunter 381-2)
What the teaccher does under this theory...
Integrate multimedia software into the classroom curriculum.
Teacher uses her knowledge to aid his or her students use technology.
Teacher learns about new software in order to provide better information and resources for his or her students.
Asses what stage students are in to move on with their learning.
Use the spiral curriculum to build further knowledge.
Use the zone of proximal development and be the coach for the students to get them to think and analyze critically.
What the students do under this theory...
The students will be given the tools and knowledge to work with multimedia software and learn how to use all sorts of different media in their learning such as word processors, videos, and other interactive tools such as games and websites.
They will have a coach to her them build on their knowledge or give them the tools to gain more knowledge.
They will use other students as an aid to their education.
I agree with Constructivism as a learning theory in many ways. I think students need a coach and need to build on previous knowledge. Also they need to have the more knowledgeable peer to give the information in the first place. I think the theories of Piaget and Vygotsky shape a child’s personality and understanding. As a students grows they gain for awareness of the world, but only with social interaction is how they are fully shaped and immersed in society. The same idea can be used in education from childhood to adulthood a student goes through different stages of understanding but with the aid of social interaction is how they gain more knowledge.
Integrating Technology and Digital Media in the Classroom; Shelly and Gunter 376-382
Learning-Theories.com: Knowledge Base and Webliography