Topics: Educational psychology, Developmental psychology, Knowledge Pages: 2 (467 words) Published: November 16, 2007
Constructivism is a theory, based on observation and scientific study, about how people learn. It says that people construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world, through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences. When we encounter something new, we compare it to our previous ideas and experience, maybe changing what we believe, or maybe discarding the new information as irrelevant. The constructivist theory asserts that we are active creators of our own knowledge. We must ask questions, explore, and assess what we know. In the classroom, the constructivist view of learning can incorporate a number of different teaching strategies. In its basic form, it usually means encouraging students to experiment and involve them in real-world problem solving. The students then create more knowledge and can reflect on and talk about what they are doing and how their understanding is changing. The teacher guides the students' activities to help them to build on prior knowledge. The students are, in a sense, constructing knowledge as opposed to reproducing a series of facts. In the constructivist model, the students are urged to be actively involved in their own process of learning. The teacher functions more as a facilitator who coaches, mediates, prompts, and helps students develop and assess their understanding. Brief History of Constructivism

The constructivist theory has its roots in the theories of many different educators, philosophers, psychologists, and sociologists. Jean Piaget and John Dewey developed theories of childhood development and education that led to the evolution of constructivism. Piaget believed that humans learn through the construction of one logical structure after another. Dewey called for education to be grounded in real experience. Lev Vygotsky introduced the social aspect of learning into constructivism. And Jerome Bruner initiated curriculum change based on the notion that learning is an active,...
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