Constructivism

This theory explains learning on the basis of evaluating one's own life and making sense of it in their own way. Experiences, environment, and interaction with other people are all factors of individualized learning. New information is connected to prior information.

There are three main divisions of the Constructivist theory. (taken from 3rd website but I haven't put in citations yet)
  • Information Processing/Cognitive Model- Memory is broken down into two parts: short-term and long-term. All memory starts out as short-term but is later committed to long-term based on the individual's life experiences and existing knowledge. Schemata or related knowledge is formed when short-term memory is considered meaningful.
  • Cognitive Theory- (Piaget ) Schematas work on the basis of perceived beliefs of the "physical and social worlds." This theory believes that if information is learned, but it counters current beliefs, then this new information will be discarded until later. Piage built his theory upon the idea that a child's/human's development and learning takes place in stages over time. Therefore, some concepts and ideas cannot be fully understood by the student until he/she has achieved that stage of development.
  • Social Constructivism- (Vygotsky) All learning is social rather than individual. Learning is best accomplished through interactions with more knowledgeable others who help to bridge the zone of proximal development (ZPD). Learning heavily depends on social interactions which provide scaffolding through modeling and encouragement.

For a great website to further explain Constructivism, visit here.

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