Social-Constructivism

The theoretical perspective of constructivism focuses on learners constructing knowledge and meaning from their experiences, i.e. a theory about how individual’s learn. Early theorists such as Piaget identified that learning takes place when it is linked with prior knowledge. Vygotsy believed that learning is enhanced by social interaction, such as discussion in group work, and now referred to as social constructivism (a student centered approach). My favorite term for constructivism is “learning by doing”.

However, I question as to whether ALL children will learn by doing. Whilst I understand that the teacher becomes a facilitator in the classroom, the teacher assumes that every student is self-motivated, and willing to actively participate in group work. This scenario poses a problem to me. I think it comes back the teacher providing engaging activities that would motivate students.

During the 1990’s the Web 1.0 emerged and drew parallels with the objectivism theory. This Web did not allow any input into the content, sharing of opinions and ideas was unheard of e.g. ‘read only’.

Web 2.0 arose through new technologies. Its applications and links can be made with the constructivism theory. The Web 2.0 promotes active involvement and participation through technologies such as; Wikis, Blogs, Podcasts, social networks and virtual worlds. These Web 2.0 technologies allow students to contribute to the lesson in an active manner, thus becoming a part of the lesson. It allows learners to take active responsibility of the context material being learnt. Enonbun (2010) states the constructivist theory ‘is a departure from the objectivist thinking that the instructor is the sole custodian of knowledge’. This shows that Web 2.0 allows a constructivist approach by enabling individuals to enhance their learning.

Oluwafisayo, E. (2010). Constructivism and Web 2.0 in the emerging learning era: A global perspective,” Journal of Strategic Innovation and Sustainability, 6(4), 16-25.

This You Tube clip explains constructivism in learning, and how learning new information is related to prior knowledge.

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