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Constructivist Learning Theory

This is a brief introduction of what constructivism is, who the early contributors of this paradigm, and specific examples of its uses in the classroom.

Dr. Jennifer Levin-Goldberg

on 13 April 2013

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Transcript of Constructivist Learning Theory

Theorists Classroom
Applications Experiential Learning
Discovery Learning
Problem Based Learning
Project based Learning
Anchored Instruction
Cooperative Learning
Situational Learning Examples Five Key Principles Jerome Bruner Jean Piaget Individuals actively construct or create their own mental representations of reality.

New information is linked to prior knowledge making mental representations individualized based upon their subjectivity. Learning must be contextually embedded in real world scenarios-something relateable and meaningful to them. Learning is an active process where students are engaged and constructing meaning of their own learning. What is it? Constructivism His contributions include a theory of cognitive child development-not learning, observational studies of cognition in children-not adults, and assessments to measure cognitive abilities. Components of his
1. Schema
2. The processes that allow one to
transition from one stage to the next is:
a. equilibrium
b. assimilation
c. accommodation
3. Stages of Development:
a. sensorimotor
b. preoperational
c. concrete operational
d. formal operational Role of Play The teacher takes on the role of facilitator; not director of the learning His four major tenets in Constructivism:
1. Predisposition to learning: Influenced by social, cultural, and personal factors.
2. Structuring Knowledge via Categorization. In order to better understand new knowledge, one must see patterns in order to transfer this knowledge to other contexts. It should be introduced clearly, simply, and relationally to the learner's life. 3. Learners need to use representation to learn new knowledge via visuals, words, and symbols.
4. Sequencing the learning to fit the individual students readiness level. He encouraged spiraling the curriculum, where a learner is exposed continually to previous learning in order to delve deeper and acquire a more insightful understanding of it. Role of Categories in Learning Processes:
Bruner believed that in order to learn, conceptualize, make inferences, problem solve, and critically think, one uses a hierarchical coding system, similar to Blooms Taxonomy. To facilitate moving further up the hierarchy, instructional scaffolding is essential. One assigns an object to a category based upon the following:
1. Critierial Attributes
2. How these criterial attributes are combined.
3. Weights to various properties
4. Attribute limitations Differentiation! Founder of Discovery Learning John Dewey Education should be based upon action.
Learning and knowledge acquisition come from experiential learning. In experiential learning, the learner must be able to discover, explore, think, reflect, and interact with the environment.
It must surround real life experiences. This experience will be based upon a students past and present experiences. Dewey also thought that
education should be democratic.
We should learn from others
and their experiences as well. David Kolb He believed that experiential learning is a process of conflict that occurs in a cycle. Knowledge acquisition is obtained through confrontation among concrete experience, reflective
observation, abstract conceptualization, and subsequent active experimentation. Instructional Strategies 1. Pose problems of emerging relevance to students.

. Structure learning around primary concepts.

3. Seek and value students' points of view.

4. Adapt instruction to address student suppositions.

5. Assess student learning in the context of teaching.
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