In constructivism the learner creates his own knowledge. Learnings are unique to the learner's cognitive process and experiences.
Thus, the development of the learner is more valued than the result of an exam or a task. A branch of constructivist, identify in social interactions the most influential aspect for development.
In constructivism learning is a process of assimilation of external information and re-elaboration according to the learner experience or mindset.
In the practice of teaching, the learner is often assessed before and after the task or exam to perform. The assessment is not just focused on the result, but it defines the space of development. One of the main authors, Vygotsky identifies in the learning process a zone of proximal development, in which the learner supported by teachers or peers has the potential to fulfil a task or exam.
The learner overcomes the zone of proximal development with the support of peers, teachers, and the scaffolding system.
The scaffolding system supports students to concentrate on the task to perform. It can be the design of the learning environment or tutoring from teachers or peers.
Below an infographic of constructivism.
In e-learning systems, we can find examples of constructivist theory in practice. The app Duolingo shows examples of behaviorism and constructivism mixed together - you can find Duolingo and Behaviorism here-.
In this section, I show two aspects in which constructivist concepts are used in practice.
I am currently involved in a project on increasing hand washing practices in the African context. One part of my work is focussed on teaching when to wash hands and how to wash hands to users with a high rate of illiteracy. The app will be available in the coming year.
These three steps are built to allow the learner to understand the main concept and then build on his/her own knowledge.
The second step is built in such a way that the learner can reflect on his own habits and how much water can be dedicated to washing practices. Because, in African context water is very limited and the learner needs to reflect on when is the most effective moment to wash hands.
McLeod S. (2020). Lev Vygotsky’s social cultural theory. Retrieved from https://www.simplypsychology.org/vygotsky.html
Mc Lead S (2019). The Zone of Proximal Development and Scaffolding. Retrieved from https://www.simplypsychology.org/Zone-of-Proximal-Development.html
GSI. Social Constructivism. Retrieved from https://gsi.berkeley.edu/gsi-guide-contents/learning-theory-research/social-constructivism/
UCD Dublin. Constructivism and Social Constructivism in the Classroom Retrieved from http://www.ucdoer.ie/index.php/Education_Theory/Constructivism_and_Social_Constructivism_in_the_Classroom
Beaumie K. (2001). Social constructivism. https://cmapsconverted.ihmc.us/rid=1N5QXBJZF-20SG67F-32D4/Kim%20Social%20constructivism.pdf
McLeod S. (2018). Jean Piaget's Theory and Stages of Cognitive Development. Retrieved from https://www.simplypsychology.org/piaget.html
Tucker C. (2017). Scaffolding in Microlearning. https://www.christytuckerlearning.com/scaffolding-in-microlearning/