Constructivist Theory – The Origin of Constructivist Theory

Filed in SCHOOL NEWS by on June 6, 2019 2 Comments
banner ad

The Origin of Constructivist Theory

Constructivist Theory

Any theory has its basis and background. Constructivist theory is not an exception. Its origins mainly include – philosophy and psychology.

The Philosophy Origin

The constructivist theory as a new thought, is a new learning philosophy. Some people agree that the first constructivist is Socrates. His “Hippocrates” is a successful model for constructivism teaching. Kant’s studies on the integration of rationalism and empiricism indicate kind of constructivism. In his opinion, the subject cannot open towards the external world directly. Only by the constructed internally principal cognitive rules, the subject can organize experiences and develop knowledge. Letter, along with the transfer of structuralism methodology toward post-structuralism, the absolute status of rationalism is broken further.

Constructivism leaning theory comes into being from the development of cognitivism, turning into a new leaning theory.

The Psychology Origin

In this perspective, the first who contributed a lot of the development of constructivist thought and applied it to classes and students leaning and development are – Dewey, Piaget and Vygotsky. Dewey advanced the experimental learning theory, emphasizing on the generation and reform of experiences. Switzerland famous psychologist Piaget is taken as the forerunner of modern constructivism.

In 1972 Piaget put forward the concept of “assimilation” and “conformability”. In his opinion, the recognition means the subject affects the object by his unique recognition structure, achieving a balance between the subject and the object: based on his psychology ideas, Piaget thinks that all knowledge has the external origin and student’s cognitive development is actualized naturally in the process of receiving knowledge. During the 70s and 50s in 20th centry, Russia excellent psychologist Vygotsky found the base for the information of modern constructivism. According to his idea, learning is a social construction. Individual learning is under certain history and social background.

The Constructivist Theory

The proponents of the constructivist theory are as follows:

  • Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky (1896 – 1943)
  • Jean Piaget (1896 – 1980)
  • John Dewey (1859 – 1952)
  • Jerome Seymour Bruner (1915 – 2016)

Constructivist theory is a learning theory that attempts to explain how learners learn by constructing understanding. Constructivism is a synthesis of multiple theories diffused into one form? It is the assimilation of both the behavioristic and cognitive ideals. The “constructivist stance maintains that leaning is a process of constructing meaning; it is how people make sense of their experience” (Merriam and Caffarella, 1999, p. 260). This is a combination effect of using a person’s cognitive abilities and insight to understand their environment. This concept is easily translated into a self-directed leaning style, where the individual has the ability to take in all the information and the environment of a problem and learn. Constructivism concerns how change occurs in development.

RECOMMENDED:  Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka (UNIZIK) Part Time Continuing Education Programme (CEP) For 2019/2020 Academic Session is on

Convergent Views Arising from Constructivist Theory

Although varying constructivist theories exist, there is an agreement between the theories. They are as follows;

  1. That learning is a process of constructing meaning it is how people make sense of their experiences.
  2. That new information is linked to prior knowledge, thus mental representations are subjective.
  3. That leaning is unique and different for each person.
  4. Constructivism avoids direct instruction. Instead, the teacher guides students discovering knowledge on their own.
  5. That the learning environment is democratic, the teacher is not seen as authority figure as much as a learning guide.
  6. The constructive theory posits that the learning environment should have specific learning goals, where teachers make activities interesting and engaging, but not overly stretchered.
  7. That learners ideas need to be elicited, and taken into account when planning teaching.

Divergent Views Arising from Constructivist Theory

The two viewpoints of constructivist theories are:

  • The individualist Constructivist View: the individual constructivist view understands learning to be an intrinsically personal process whereby “meaning is made by the individual and is dependent upon the individual’s previous and current knowledge structure”. And as a result can be considered an “Internal cognitive activity.
  • The Social Constructivist View: Premises that learning is constructed through social interaction and discourse and is considered, according to drivers and others (1994), to be a process in which meaning is made dialogically (Merriam and Caffarelle, 1999).

 Other Divergent Views Arising from Different Types of the Constructivist Theories

There are four fundamental tenets that provide basis for these divergent views: they all maintain an epistemological stance.

RECOMMENDED:  UNIUYO School of Basic Studies Screening Result is Out 2019/2020

The four tenets are as follows:

  1. Knowledge is not passively accumulated, but rather, is a result of active cognizing by the individual.
  2. Cognition is an adaptive process that functions to make an individual’s behavior more viable given a particular environment.
  3. Cognition organizes and makes sense of one’s experience, and is not a process to render an accurate representation of reality.
  4. Knowing has not in both biological/neurological construction, and social, cultural, and language based interaction.

The Divergent Views are as Follows

  1. Cognitive Constructivism: This only emphasizes on the first two tenets that is that knowledge acquisition is an adaptive process and result from active cognizing by the individual learner. Knowledge from the cognitive perspective is the result of the accurate internalization and (re) construction of external reality. This claim that reality is knowable to the individual differentiates cognitive from both social and radical constructionism.

This represent one end, or extreme of the constructivist continuum. As a learning theory it is seen as a “weak from of constructivism within the constructive community, since it only embraces two of the four epistemological tenets.

Week in this case is not a value judgment rather an indication of adherence to fundamental assumptions. The main proponents of this are: Bruner (1990) and Piaget (1972)

  1. Radical Constructivism: Radical constructivism represents the opposite end of constructivist continuum from cognitive constructivism. Radical constructivism fully embraces the first there tenets, the is, that knowledge acquisition is an adaptive process that results from an active cognizing by the individual learner, sundering an experimentally based mind, not a mind that reflects some extend reality. In addition, there is a current movement within radical constructivism to more fully accept the fourth expistemological tenet, thus recognizing social interactions as a source of knowledge. This particular expistemological emphases leads to defining principles that maintain the internal nature of knowledge and the idea that while an external reality may exist, it is unknowable to the individual. The radical is being considered a “strong” form of constructivism, as it fully embraces the tree constructivist expistemological tenets and partially the fourth. The major proponent of this theory is – Ernst von glasersfeld (1974).
  2. Social Constructivism: Social constructivism like somewhere between the transmission of knowledge reality of the cognitive constructivists, and the construction of a personal and coherent reality of the radical constructivists. Social constructivism, unlike radical and cognitive constructivism, emphasizes all four of the previously epistemological tenets. These particular epistemological emphasis leads to defining principles that maintain the social nature of knowledge, and the belief that knowledge is a result of social interaction and language usage, and thus is a shared, rather than an individual experience.
RECOMMENDED:  UNIUYO Postgraduate Courses 2019/2020 - See full List

In addition, this social interaction always occurs within a socio-cultural context, resulting in knowledge that is bound to a specific time and place.

In addition, truth in this case, is neither the objective reality of the cognitive nor the experimental reality of the radial, but rather is a socially constructed and agreed upon truth resulting from co-participation in church practices. Like radical, social constructivism is considered a “strong” from of constructivism, emphasizing all four of the epistemological tenets.

The major proponent of this theory is Vygotsky (1978).

Constructivist Theory and its Implication in Social Science Education: (Constructivist Principle).

  1. Learning should take place in authentic and real world environments.
  2. Learning should involve social negotiation and mediation.
  3. Content and skill should be made relevant to the learner.
  4. Content and skill should be understood within the framework of the learner’s prior knowledge.
  5. Students should be assessed formatively, serving to inform future learning experiences.
  6. Teachers should serve primarily as guides and facilitators of learning not instructors.
  7. Teachers should provide for and encourage multiple perspectives and representations of content.
  8. Students should be encouraged to become self-regulatory, self-mediated and self-aware.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments (2)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

Sites That Link to this Post

  1. Constructivist Theory | January 9, 2020
  1. Johnb19 says:

    I loved your blog article. Really Cool. fdeecbeddfde

Drop us a Reply