Constructivism & its application in teaching-learning

Q. Constructivism & its application in teaching-learning

Constructivism is a theory of knowledge (epistemology) by Swiss Biologist Piaget which argues that humans generate knowledge and meaning from their experiences.

The learner constructs his own ideas, concepts, and own knowledge schemas by reflecting on his experiences.

Constructivism consists of –

  • Assimilation – Here individuals incorporate the new experience into an already existing framework without changing that framework.
  • Accommodation – The learner fits or adapts to the new experience by reframing his earlier perceptional framework. Eg. Learning by failure.

How Constructivism Impacts Learning

  • Curriculum–Constructivism promotes using curricula customized to the students’ prior knowledge and emphasizes hands-on problem solving, cooperative and collaborative learning.
  • Instruction– The Teacher is a facilitator who focuses on tailoring teaching strategies to student responses and encourages students to analyze, interpret, and predict information. Eg. Ask open-ended questions and promote extensive dialogue among students.
  • Assessment–Constructivism calls for the elimination of grades and standardized testing. Instead, assessment becomes part of the learning process so that students play a larger role in judging their own progress.

Thus in constructivism, the purpose of learning is to construct one’s own meaning of the world we live in, and not just memorize the “right” answers and regurgitate someone else’s meaning.

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