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Constructivism . By:Kathleen schiel. Key Points of Constructivism. The constructivism theory argues that humans build new knowledge and meaning through experiences. Students learn by doing Learning is active rather than passive Great emphasis on social interaction . Jean Piaget

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Key points of constructivism
Key Points of Constructivism

The constructivism theory argues that humans build new knowledge and meaning through experiences.

Students learn by doing

Learning is active rather than passive

Great emphasis on social interaction

Key people associated with constructivism

Jean Piaget

John Dewey

Lev Vygotsky

Jerome Bruner

  • Jean Piaget (psychologist)

  • Developed the cognitive learning theory after observing children for many years

  • Defined four cognitive stages:

    • Sensorimotor- (0-2yrs) learning takes place mainly through senses and motor actions

    • Preoperational- (2-6/7 yrs) when children begin to use symbols and images

    • Concrete operational- (age 7) children begin to think logically, can understand other points of view other than their own.

    • Formal operational- (age 12+/-) Children can think abstractly-understand cause and effect.

“I hear and I forget, I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”


Key People Associated with Constructivism

Jerome bruner
Jerome Bruner


Three Principles:

1. Instruction must be concerned with the experiences and contexts that make the student willing and able to learn (readiness).

2. Instruction must be structured so that it can be easily grasped by the student (spiral organization).

3. Instruction should be designed to facilitate extrapolation and or fill in the gaps (going beyond the information given).

Lev vygotsky
Lev Vygotsky

Developed social cognition

Theorized that learning takes place within the context of the child’s social development and culture.

Proposed that children have a zone of proximal development (the difference between the problem solving ability and that a child has learned the potential that the child can achieve from collaboration with a more advanced partner.

John dewey
John Dewey

Educational psychologist, philosopher and political activist

Influenced American education significantly

Believed education is a social process

Dewey’s name has been linked to movements such as pragmatism

Pragmatists believed that theory is only as valuable as the practical effectiveness it has.

Has been called the father of American education



Have students work in groups instead of alone

Create exciting lesson plans that motivate students to learn

Develop questions that guide students to their own conclusion





Classroom Activities can include:

-Students individually perform an experiment and then come together as a class to discuss the results.-Field trips. This allows students to put the concepts and ideas discussed in class in a real-world context. Field trips would often be followed by class discussions.-Films. These provide visual context and thus bring another sense into the learning experience.


Apply their current understandings to build new knowledge.

Compare their understandings to that of their peers.

Work collaboratively with others

Ms schiel s classroom
Ms. Schiel’s Classroom

I would most certainly use constructivism in my classroom. I think having students work together to formulate their own conclusions is a great idea. I will try my hardest to make things interesting for everyone and have the student engaged in the lesson. I know I learn better when I am interested and I would love to see my students succeed.

Works cited
Works Cited

"Classroom." Online @ SFSU. Web. 19 Apr. 2010. <>.

“Constructivism." Funderstanding: Education and Training for Active Learners. Web. 19 Apr. 2010. <>.

Hoover, Wesley A. "The Practice Implications of Constructivism - SEDL Letter, Constructivism, Volume IX, Number 3, August 1996." Welcome to SEDL: Advancing Research, Improving Education. Web. 19 Apr. 2010. <>.

Shelly, Gary B. Teachers Discovering Computers: Integrating Technology and Digital Media in the Classroom. Boston, Mass.: Thomson/Course Technology, 2008. Print.