Learning By Doing
Dana & Jessica – Group 5
What is Constructivism?
The constructivist theory suggests that
individuals learn best by actively participating.
There are four major theorists associated
1) Jean Piaget
2) Jerome Bruner
3) Lev Vygotsky
4) John Dewey
After observing children for many years, Jean
Piaget created the cognitive learning theory.
Piaget perceived children as “active learners,”
without needing any motivation from adults.
Jean Piaget’s Cognitive Stages
Cognitive Stage Age
Characteristics of learning
Sensorimotor Birth to 2 years Imitation, learn through senses and motor
activities, do not understand world around them,
Preoperational 2 to 6/7 years Egocentric, pretend play, drawing ability, speech
and communication development, concrete
thinking, and intuitive reasoning
6/7 years to 11/12
Classification, logical reasoning, problem
solving, and beginnings of abstract thinking
Comparative reasoning, abstract thinking,
deductive logic, and test hypothesis
Jerome Bruner “proposed that learning is an
active process in which the learner constructs
new ideas or concepts based on his current or
past knowledge.” (pg. 378)
Lev Vygotsky developed social cognition, the
belief that learning is influenced largely by social
Vygotsky also proposed the 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 collaboration with a more
advanced peer or expert.” (pg. 380)
John Dewey was a part of the progressive
movement. This movement “focused on
education the whole child, physically, and not
just the dispensation of the facts and
John Dewey was also a pragmatic. He believed
the validity of a theory was determined by its
What does this mean for teachers?
Teachers should understand the importance and
validity of the constructivist theories. Educators
should constantly seeks ways to actively engage
their students in what they are learning.
What does this mean for students?
Students should expect a variety of learning
methods. If they do not understand something
while being explained, they can expect an
activity to further their understanding. Games,
science experiments, and cooking (for
measurements) are all ways for student to use
what they have learned.
What does this mean for me?
As a future educator, one of the most important
things to me personally, is to make certain that I
never get lazy in my work. Creating and
discovering activities, games, and projects for
students to practice what they learn can take
some additional time. However, I cannot image
anything more important or rewarding than
going the extra mile to inspire a mind. Active
learning is a must in the classroom.
• Teachers Discovering Computers: Integrating
Technology and Digital Media in the Classroom
6th Edition. Gary B. Shelly, Glenda A. Gunter,
and Randolph E. Gunter, 2010 Course
Technology, Cengage Learning
• Image 1: www.cartoonstock.com
• Image 2: www.world-citizenship.org
• Image 3: www.educationalupdate.com
• Image 4: www.silenceandvoice.com