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Constructivist Learning Theory
  • This is a learning theory that proposes learners construct the knowledge they acquire based on their experiences.

  • Learners acquire, reflect, accommodate and represent information into new knowledge.

  • Learning in this way enables a deeper understanding, and promotes the learner to be a co-constructor in knowledge acquisition

  • Learners are active participants in their own learning journey.

  • Where some other theories propose knowledge is innate or acquired passively, Constructivist Learning theory proposes knowledge is actively constructed. Information can be received by the learner, but in order for there to be understanding, there must be some construction of the information.

  • Learners benefit from real life experiences and chances to problem solve.

  • Interactions with others are said to aid in constructivist learning, with social activities playing a role in building and developing knowledge.

  • As new knowledge is received, the learner updates their own prior knowledge to reflect this new addition, thus constructing new realities.

Key areas for constructivist learning are:

  • The instructor takes on the role of a facilitator instead of a director.

  • There are equal authority and responsibility between the students and the instructor.

  • Learning occurs in small groups.

  • Knowledge is shared between both the students and the instructor.

(Constructivist Learning Theory - Educational Technology)

​Types of Constructivist learning theories / Constructivism:

  • Cognitive Constructivism - eg, Jean Piaget (accommodation, assimilation, schema etc)

  • Social Constructivism - eg Lev Vygotsky (Zone of Proximal Development)

 

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