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CONCEPT, PRINCIPLES &
SELF STUDY- I
What is Constructivism?
• Constructivism is about how
• People construct their own
understanding and knowledge
through experiencing things and
reflecting on those experiences.
• We must ask questions, explore
and assess what we know.
Constructivism is a philosophy of
learning founded on the premise that, by
reflecting on our experiences, we
construct our own understanding of the
world we live in. Each of us generates
our own "rules" and "mental models,"
which we use to make sense of our
experiences. Learning, therefore, is
simply the process of adjusting our
mental models to accommodate new
Constructivism is a philosophy of learning
founded on the premise that, by reflecting
on our experiences, we color and construct
our own understanding of the world we
Each of us generates "rules" to make sense
of our experiences.
Learning is adjusting our rules to
accommodate new experiences.
Students can learn different meanings from
the same lesson.
mind to fit within
his or her frame
It is a theory of learning based on
the historical works of Dewey,
Piaget and Vygotsky.
It is learning using prior knowledge
and connecting it to new
It challenges the learner to construct
their own knowledge and test their
understanding of the material.
Lev Vygotsky Jean Piaget
John Dewey Jerome Bruner
Constructivism views knowledge as
“assimilated” into existing schema.
Idea largely based on Swiss
Biologist Jean Piaget’s
research on child development
Piaget’s theory states that
children learn by creating
“mental maps” or schemes.
These maps or schemes are
added to and adapted as
needed to help them
understand their environment.
Structure becomes more
complex as child develops.
& philosopher in 1930’s
usually associated with
emphasized the effects
of one’s environment
(family, friends, culture
& background) have on
Jerome Bruner most
incorporated social and
cognitive aspects .
These ideas originated
from a conference for
math and science
• During the math and science conference, a modified
lesson plan was developed with Bruner’s assistance.
The five E’s:
“I shall take it as self-evident that each generation must define afresh the
nature, direction, and aims of education to assure such freedom and
rationality as can be attainted for a future generation. It is in this sense that
education is in constant process of invention.”
--Jerome S. Bruner, 1966
In a Constructivist Classroom,
to create new knowledge
the student experiments,
and sets goals
students discuss learning
experiences and reflect
students work together
and learn from one another
exploration of questions
ideas are change
CHARACTERISTICS OF CONSTRUCTIVIST
LEARNING & TEACHING
Multiple perspectives and representations of concepts is
Goals and objectives are derived by the student or in
negotiation with the teacher.
Teachers serve in the role of guides, monitors, coaches,
tutors and facilitators.
Activities, opportunities, tools and environments are
provided to encourage metacognition, self-analysis, self-
regulation, self-reflection & self-awareness.
Learning situations, environments, skills, content and tasks
are relevant, realistic, authentic and represent the natural
complexities of the 'real world'.
Primary sources of data are used in order to ensure
authenticity and real-world complexity.
Knowledge construction and not reproduction is
This construction takes place in individual contexts and
through social negotiation, collaboration and experience.
Learners are provided with the opportunity for
apprenticeship learning in which there is an increasing
complexity of tasks, skills and knowledge acquisition.
Knowledge complexity is reflected in an emphasis on
conceptual interrelatedness and interdisciplinary learning.
Collaborative and cooperative learning are favored in
order to expose the learner to alternative viewpoints.
Assessment is authentic and interwoven with teaching.
The learner's previous knowledge
constructions, beliefs and attitudes are
considered in the knowledge construction
Problem-solving, higher-order thinking skills
and deep understanding are emphasized.
Errors provide the opportunity for insight into
students' previous knowledge constructions.
Exploration is a favored approach in order to
encourage students to seek knowledge
independently and to manage the pursuit of
Traditional vs. Constructivist
Basic skills emphasized
Materials are textbooks and
Learning based on repetition
information to students
Assessment is through
Students work alone
Big concepts emphasized
Student questions and
interests are valued
Learning is interactive
Teacher’s role is
Variety of assessment
Students work in groups
THE JOB OF THE
The teacher must enter the
classroom believing that all
students have different
backgrounds from experiences and
The teacher has to meet the
students at there current level and
help them connect and expand to
Taking these two factors into
account ensures that the material
will be meaningfully related to the
Tailor Strategies To Student Responses.
Encourage Analysis, Interpretation, Prediction.
Use Open-ended Questions And Discussion.
Connect Past Experiences With New Learning.
Use Project-based Learning.
Use Problem-based Learning.
PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTIVISM
Knowledge is actively constructed by
Learning is both an individual an a
Learning is a self-regulated process.
Learning is an organizational process.
Reality represents an interpretation.
Learning is a socially situated activity.
Language plays an essential role in
Motivation is a key component in
IMPACT ON INSTRUCTION
Focus on making
IMPACT ON ASSESSMENT
projects and reflection.
IMPACT ON CURRICULUM
connect to learner’s
on problem- solving.
BENEFITS OF CONSTRUCTIVISM
Constructivism concentrates on learning how to think
Constructivist learning is transferable. In
constructivist classrooms, students create organizing
principles that they can take with them to other
Constructivism gives students ownership of what they
learn, since learning is based on students' questions
and explorations, and often the students have a hand in
designing the assessments as well.
Constructivist assessment engages the students'
initiatives and personal investments in their journals,
research reports, physical models, and artistic
By grounding learning activities in an authentic, real-
world context, constructivism stimulates and engages
students. Students in constructivist classrooms learn to
question things and to apply their natural curiosity to
Constructivism promotes social and communication
skills by creating a classroom environment that
emphasizes collaboration and exchange of ideas.
CRITICAL PERSPECTIVE OF
Social constructivism leads to "group think." Critics
say the collaborative aspects of constructivist
classrooms tend to produce a "tyranny of the
majority," in which a few students' voices or
interpretations dominate the group's conclusions, and
dissenting students are forced to conform to the
There is little hard evidence that constructivist
methods work. Critics say that constructivists, by
rejecting evaluation through testing and other external
criteria, have made themselves unaccountable for
their students' progress.