Constructivism- Lundgren

Constructivism


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Description

The main idea behind the Constructivist Theory of learning is that learners “construct” new knowledge based on previous knowledge. This style theory is in direct contrast to the idea of learners as passive receptors of information. Rather, learning is active. Learners encounter new learning situations that either compliment their previous knowledge or, if inconsistent with their current understanding, make accommodations.

Usefulness

Constructivism has had a profound impact on educators. Teaching can no longer be viewed as the simple transmission of knowledge. Rather than the seat of wisdom, the teacher becomes the guide. It is particularly important for teachers to provide the student with opportunities to “construct” new knowledge. It also means that educators must have a complete understanding of what the learners bring to the learning environment.

Example of Application(s)

An example of the Constructivist approach to learning is for educators to seek out students' points of view. According to Mimi Mayer:
Constructivist teachers see the viewpoints of their students as "windows into their reasoning." But to see through those windows, teachers must talk with and listen to their students - and allow students to come up with their own answers. Erroneous answers can reveal student viewpoints; in fact, they can give constructivist teachers a way to reach students and encourage the growth of new skills and more accurate understandings.
Making new information relevant to the learners not only engages the learner but allows them a point at which to anchor the new learning situation.


REFERENCES

Gordon, M. (2009). Toward A pragmatic discourse of constructivism: Reflections on lessons from
practice. Educational Studies, 45(1), 39-58. doi:10.1080/00131940802546894
Mayer, Mimi. (1996). Is it constructivism? SEDL Letter, IX:3.


Created by: S. Faith Lundgren