H E A T H E R F .
J U L I E G .
K R I S T I N O .
J E N N I F E R P .
N I C O L E V .
“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember.
I do and I understand” -Confucius
Constructivism is a type of learning in which the learner
constructs much of what he or she learns or
It involves active participation in the learning process by
using critical-thinking skills to analyze a problem and
create an understanding of the topic or problem.
Learning involves linking new information with prior
Motivation is very important because the learner has to
participate in learning in order to construct an
Collaboration is important because it is insightful to
explore others’ perspectives.
Theorist: Jean Piaget
A psychologist who developed the cognitive learning theory by
observing kids over the course of several year
Defined four cognitive stages:
Sensorimotor: learning takes place through children's senses and
Preoperational: children begin to use symbols and images to
mean something else
Concrete Operational: children begin to learn factual information
and different people's points of view
Formal Operational: children think more abstractly and make
their own beliefs and morals
Piaget's 3 A‘s
Adaption: Children's cognitive understanding or development at
any given time
Assimilation: how children fit the new information or
experiences they have into their lives
Accommodation: how the new information and experiences
change their knowledge base and the world around them
Theorist: Jerome Burner
Received A.B degree from Duke University in
1937 and Ph. D from Harvard in 1947
Published The Process of Education
Founding father of the constructivist theory
His theoretical framework is based on the
theme that learners construct new
ideas/concepts based on existing knowledge
Theories emphasize the significance of
categorization in learning
Introduced the ideas of “readiness for learning”
and spiral curriculum
Theorist: Les Vygotsky
Les Vygotsky (1896-1934) was a major figure in Russian
Vygotsky’s theory stresses the relations between the individual
He believed that it is not possible to understand a child’s
development without some understanding of the culture in which
the child is raised.
In his theory, elementary cognitive functions are transformed
into higher mental functions through interactions with more
knowledgeable adults and peers.
Vygotsky is known for the term: zone of proximal development
which refers to the difference what children can do on their own
and with the assistance of others.
Vygotsky believed that language was the most important
psychological tool that influences children’s development.
Theorist: John Dewey
psychologist who believed
education was a social
process in which learning
should be student directed
with teachers serving as a
guide for resources.
Believed students learn by
He founded several
schools and has been
called the Father of
In Regards to the Teacher
Teachers are there to guide the
students and facilitate learning
They should not simple lecture and
require students to memorize what
they are told.
Build off and use student responses
when making "on-the-spot" decisions
about instructional strategies and
content being taught.
Provide adequate amount of time for
students to construct their
Provide hands on activities and allow
students to use the computer to gain
further knowledge and showcase what
they have learned
In Regards to the Students
Explore the learning environment
and make decisions based off trial
Apply prior knowledge and new
information to construct new
Work in groups to collaborate and
bounce ideas off each other.
Use the internet to further their
Use the computer to showcase
what they have constructed as their
understanding of the topic, i.e. a
Constructivism in our Teaching
Heather: “Piaget's constructivist thinking should be apart of classrooms today because it is
targeted for children and can help teachers characterize their cognitive stages as the students
progress in age.”
Julie: “I will use constructivism in my teaching by having activities and projects that let my
students do more of what they want to do with things that relate to their experiences that go
along with the subject.”
Kristin: “Vygotsky’s theory should be incorporated into the classroom because it gives teachers
a better understanding of the differences in development among their students. Not all students
develop the same way, this depends on their culture background and the types of adults and
peers they interact with on a daily basis. Vygotsky believed that if a child receives appropriate
help from and adult or peer, he or she generally performs at a higher level than those students
who perform on their own. ”
Jennifer: “Dewey’s theory should be incorporated into classrooms because it teaches students
not to rely on teachers for everything. They learn by doing things themselves and it truly
prepares them to become independent in society”
Nicole: “I think that it is very important for teachers to allow their students to form their own
perspectives of the world around them. I believe that children learn more by doing and are
more interested in figuring things out for themselves than being lectured about topics. I will
definitely use constructivism in my classroom to motivate students to learn for themselves.”
"Lev Vygotsky -- History of Psychology." Les Vygotsky. Web. 22 Nov. 2010.
Meece, Judith L., and Denise H. Daniels. "Chapter 3: Cognitive Development:
Piaget"s and Vygotsky's Theories." Child and Adolescent Development for
Educators. 3rd ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2008. 165-68. Print