premise of constructivist theories is that people create their own
meaning through experience. Constructivism has its roots in the cognitive
theories of Piaget and Vygotsky and embraces several aspects of both
of those theories. From Piaget we get active learning, schemes, assimilation
and accommodation, etc. From Vygotsky we get social constructivism,
group work, apprenticeship, etc. Constructivism embraces a "top-down"
rather than a "bottom-up" instructional methodology. This
means that, rather than teach all of the details that lead to a main
idea, students discover the main idea and then derive the details.
students are encouraged to learn main ideas on their own through discovery
learning. Examples include learning about compound words by playing
with word strips, learning about addition and subtraction through
the use of manipulatives, or learning about capacity through experimentation
with different sizes of objects.
or students' own ideas about how things work, play a large role in
constructivism as we attempt to provide activities that clarify and
correct misconceptions. Additional constructivist strategies include
presenting others' viewpoints, promoting dialogue, and emphasizing
conceptual understanding rather than rote learning.
What is the constructivist
view of learning?
How are Piaget's and Vygotsky's
ideas about learning reflected in this approach to teaching?
What teaching strategies
are associated with constructivist principles?