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It is with this respect that Constructivism as a theory tries to explain how humans learn and construct their knowledge and understanding of their environment.
Checkel (1998) found that knowledge acquisition is a continuous active process whereby learners tend to construct or develop ideas which are normally based on their previous and current knowledge. In order to make decisions, learners depend on cognitive structure to formulate hypothesis and come up with decisions based on the selected information. Klotz and Lynch (2007) described cognitive structure as a mental structure that gives a learner’s experience some organization and meaning. Although learners always come across new experiences, constructivists believe that an individual possesses internal power to give meaning to their new experiences (McGrew, 2011a). McGrew (2011b) further argues that the power resides only within an individual and not within the institution that surrounds them. Alexander Wendt’s theory of constructivism is based on the identity concept of an individual in the process of knowledge acquisition (Checkel, 1998).
Identity being the core concept of Constructivism theory, Price and Reus-Smit (1998) defined it as an aspect that uniquely distinguishes an individual from the rest. An aspect that an individual tends to take pride in and which more or less cannot be changed. Checkel (1998) found that identity is influenced by the learner’s background and cultural origin, since people adapt what they come across in the society they are raised in. In this regard, society plays a major role in molding up an individual’s identity because learners build up knowledge based on their perspective of the experiences they encounter. Finnemore (2011) states that it is also necessary to put into account the cultural background of an individual in their process of learning since it helps in shaping out the knowledge that they create. Due to the diversity of cultures, individuals tend to
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I totally agree with this statement because the United States is ever ready to accept other cultures to its core.
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