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Constructivism - Essay Example

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The essay explores what is "Constructivism". In the constructivist theory, there are many concepts that have to be given importance. There are two major concepts in the constructivist theory: psychological constructivism and social constructivism…
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Constructivism
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The theory of constructivism s that learning is best understood, accumulated and applied when the or the person develops his own mental model of the information (Vogel-Wallcut et.al 135). There may be several approaches to this philosophy but they all believe in one common idea that learning is best developed when the student or learner actively and profoundly incorporate what they learned with their prior knowledge (Vogel-Wallcut et.al 135).
In the constructivist theory, there are many concepts that have to be given importance. There are two major concepts in the constructivist theory: psychological constructivism and social constructivism. According to Hein (1991), the psychological or Piagetian constructivism employs that we have to focus on the learner in thinking about learning (not on the subject/lesson to be taught). The Social or Vygotskian constructivism is based on the thought that “there is no knowledge independent of the meaning attributed to experience (constructed) by the learner, or community of learners (Hein, 1991).”
According to Abdal-Haqq (1998), there are two major traditions that a teacher may utilize when teaching in a constructivist approach: developmental and reconstructionist traditions. The developmental tradition includes a manner if teaching through “direct instruction in theory and practice, often without complementary opportunities for inquiry, discovery, or self-examination (Abdal-Haqq, 1998). The second tradition utilizes the student’s critical analysis and practical experience as important factors in deconstructing their prior knowledge and understanding (Abdal-Haqq, 1998).
Students in a constructivist approach are very active such that this kind of education depended on action. Students have to draw knowledge based on their experiences that have meaning and importance to them. The role of the students is to involve themselves in manipulating materials with the community of learners or peers (The Constructivist Theory, n.d.) In Piaget’s concept of constructivism, learners are the main and most important subject and not the learning. The students therefore must go through first in their stages of development before they can fully understand and learn.
References:
Abdal-Haqq, I. (1998). Constructivism in Teacher Education: Considerations for Those Who Would Link Practice to Theory. ERIC Digest. Retrieved from http://www.ericdigests.org/1999-3/theory.htm
Hein, G. (1991, October). Constructivist Learning Theory. IFI. Retrieved from http://www.exploratorium.edu/IFI/resources/constructivistlearning.html
The Constructivist Theory. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.sullivan.leon.k12.fl.us/LTT/Constructivism.html
Vogel-Walcutt, J. J., Gebrim, J.B., Bowers, C. C., Carper, T. M. , & Nicholson, D. D. (2011). Cognitive Load Theory vs. Constructivist Approaches: Which Best Leads to Efficient, Deep Learning?, Journal Of Computer Assisted Learning, 27(2), 133-145. Read More
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