Constructivism is an educational theory that recognizes the understanding and knowledge based on the learner’s prior experiences. It believes that everyone’s learning is unique because of their different experiences.
It has roots in epistemology (theory of knowledge) and is also associated with politics, ontology, and ethics. The origin of the theory is linked to the theory of cognitive development by Jean Piaget. Piaget focused on how humans find correlation and meaning between their ideas and experiences.
This theory has influenced numerous disciplines like Sociology, History of Science, Psychology, and Education. Educators use constructive theories to help their students learn.
Some principles of constructivism include:
- Knowledge is personal
- Learning is a social activity
- Learning is contextual
- Knowledge is constructed
- Learning is an active process
- Motivation is the key to learning
There are various types of constructivism that teachers use in everyday life. The first one is Cognitive. It believes that learning must be related to the learner’s stage of cognitive development. This theory comes from the works of Jean Piaget.
The second type is Social Constructivism and focuses on the collaborative nature of learning. It believes that knowledge develops from interacting with individuals from different backgrounds.
Radical Constructivism is the third type and is very different from the other two. It believes that knowledge is not discovered but invented. Many cognitive psychologists have argued that this is misleading and contradictory.