Constructivism


In education, constructivism is a learning theory which states that knowledge is not transmitted from teacher to student, but instead that learning is an active process of recreating knowledge. Constructivists teach techniques that place emphasis on the role of learning activities in a good curriculum. Constructing meaning is learning; there is no other kind. The dramatic consequences of this view are twofold:

  • We have to focus the learner in thinking about learning, not on the subject or lesson to be taught.
  • There is no knowledge independent of the meaning attributed to experience. That is, how the learner interprets the what s/he experiences is the act of learning.

The implication is that our students must steer their own learning processes. When a student knows what is available to learn, and chooses to study a particular area, she is now motivated to learn that subject. But more importantly, the student chose that area because she has an idea already about that subject and wants to build on it. She is therefore linking new information with existing mental models, as opposed to memorizing facts that hang limp and unconnected in her mind.

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