The main theorists of Constructivism and their thoughts

Timeline created by Sokwanele Nkosi
  • Experiential Learning (John Dewey)

    Experiential Learning (John Dewey)
    Learning by doing (or experiential learning) is based on the three assumptions that:
    People learn best when they are personally involved in the learning experience.
    Knowledge has to be discovered by the individual if it is to have any significant meaning to them or make a difference in their behaviour.
    A person’s commitment to learning is highest when they are free to set their own learning objectives and are able to actively pursue them within a given framework.
  • Theory of Social Development (Lev Vygotsky)

    Theory of Social Development (Lev Vygotsky)
    Social interaction plays a fundamental role in the process of cognitive development. In contrast to Jean Piaget’s understanding of child development (in which development necessarily precedes learning), Vygotsky felt social learning precedes development. He states: “Every function in the child’s cultural development appears twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level; first, between people (interpsychological) and then inside the child (intrapsychological)”.
  • Theory of Genetic Epistemology or Origins of Thinking (Jean Piaget)

    Theory of Genetic Epistemology or Origins of Thinking (Jean Piaget)
    Piaget's (1936) theory of cognitive development explains how a child constructs a mental model of the world. He disagreed with the idea that intelligence was a fixed trait, and regarded cognitive development as a process which occurs due to biological maturation and interaction with the environment. According to Piaget, children are born with a very basic mental structure (genetically inherited and evolved) on which all subsequent learning and knowledge are based.
  • Constructivism (Jerome Bruner)

    Constructivism (Jerome Bruner)
    Bruner's theory on constructivism encompasses the idea of learning as an active process wherein those learning are able to form new ideas based on what their current knowledge is as well as their past knowledge. A cognitive structure is defined as the mental processes which offer the learner the ability to organize experiences and derive meaning from them. These cognitive structures allow the learner to push past the given information in constructing their new concepts.
  • Social Learning Theory (Albert Bandura)

    Social Learning Theory (Albert Bandura)
    Social Learning Theory (Albert Bandura) The social learning theory of Bandura emphasizes the importance of observing and modeling the behaviors, attitudes, and emotional reactions of others. Children observe the people around them behaving in various ways.
    Educational Implications
    Attention: In order to learn, you need to be paying attention.
    Retention: The ability to store information is also an important part of the learning process.
  • Situated Learning Theory (Jean Lave)

    Situated Learning Theory (Jean Lave)
    Lave argues that learning as it normally occurs is a function of the activity, context and culture in which it occurs (i.e., it is situated). This contrasts with most classroom learning activities which involve knowledge which is abstract and out of context. Situated learning is a general theory of knowledge acquisition.
    Educational Implications
    It has been applied in the context of technology-based learning activities for schools that focus on problem-solving skills
  • Cognitive apprenticeship (John Seely Brown)

    Cognitive apprenticeship (John Seely Brown)
    Theory of cognitive apprenticeship promotes hands-on doing and problem-solving.
    Concept of collective social mind promotes community and collaborative.
  • Schema Theory (Roger Schank)

     Schema Theory (Roger Schank)
    schema theory states that all knowledge is organized into units. Within these units of knowledge, or schemata, is stored information. A schema, then, is a generalized description or a conceptual system for understanding knowledge-how knowledge is represented and how it is used. Schema theory can be applied in the classroom to provide beneficial learning experiences for students. In order to do this, students need to activate relevant knowledge before they begin reading.
  • Expert Performance Theory (K. Anders Ericsson)

     Expert Performance Theory (K. Anders Ericsson)
    Practice makes perfect. Anders Ericsson and his team maintain that expertise is not obtained by innate genius abilities, but by practicing so persistently that you become an expert in the field. Need for deliberate practice to acquire expertise. Ericsson argues for monitoring practice in varied and multiple contexts to develop expertise. He suggests use of examples with evaluative activities.
  • Theory of Mindful Learning (Ellen Langer)

    Theory of Mindful Learning (Ellen Langer)
    Mindful learning, has to do with creativity, critical thinking, asking the right questions and cultivating a ‘mindset of uncertainty’. According to Langer, mindfulness has three aspects namely to constantly create new categories from existing information offered to you, to be open to new information and to always be aware that there is more than one perspective on all things (Langer in Boettcher et al., 2016). Mindful Learning is learning that requires mindful engagement with content.
  • Theory of Emotional Intelligence (Daniel Goleman)

    Theory of Emotional Intelligence (Daniel Goleman)
    Emotional self-awareness — knowing what one is feeling at any given time and understanding the impact those moods have on others. Self-regulation — controlling or redirecting one's emotions; anticipating consequences before acting on impulse. This means that it can be learned, and not a born-with aspect. Abilities such as self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation social skill and empathy can be acquired while learning.