Constructivism

  • A philosophy founded on the premise of reflecting on our experiences to make sense of our world.
  • Adjusting ourselves to accomodate new experiences.
  • There are several guiding principles to this theory:
    • Learning is a search for meaning.
    • Meaning is an understanding of the whole and its parts.
    • In order to teach well, we must understand the mental models students use to perceive the world around them.
  • What about the curriculum?
    • Calls for an elimination of the standardized curriculum.
    • Promotes customized curriculum.
  • Educators should focus on making connections between facts and helping the students make better understandings.
  • What about assessments?
    • Calls for the elimination of standardized testing and formal grading.
    • Assessment is used in the learning process so students can track their progress.
  • For more information: Funderstanding: Constructivism

  • Important contributors to Constructivism: Vygotsky, Piaget, Dewey, Vico, Rorty and Bruner.
  • Vygotsky's Social Development Theory is an important foundation to Constructivism.
    • Social interaction has a fundamental role in cognitive development.
    • The need for a More Knowledgeable Other (MKO) who is usually a teacher, coach, parent or other adult.
    • The Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) is the distance between the student's ability to perform a task with help from an adult or peer and performing the task themselves.
  • For more information: Learning Theory: Constructivism