Constructivism : A Learning Theory

917 WordsMay 11, 20164 Pages
Constructivism is a learning theory that suggests that because individuals are not blank slates new knowledge is constructed by building upon prior knowledge and experiences (Brandsford, Brown, and Cocking, 2000). Within the classroom setting, constructivism often includes, but not limited to a hands-on activity, group work, and teachers acting as facilitators. At the sight of observation, the learning activity was a guided reading lesson. This reading activity was designed for a small group of four students, led by a teacher assistant. The activity was composed of several flashcard activities, group reading, and individual silent reading. While this learning activity exhibited constructivism and several aspects of constructivism, there were moments throughout the activity that did not perfectly encompass constructivist theory. One of the first aspects of constructivism used in the learning activity was prior knowledge. Prior knowledge refers to the preexisting or prior experience an individual has on a particular subject (Enyedy, 2016). Prior knowledge is critical to every aspect of constructive learning and is needed to construct new knowledge (Brandsford, Brown, and Cocking, 2000). The beginning of this learning activity was focused entirely on drawing out the students’ prior knowledge. Not only is prior knowledge used to gauge the students’ understanding, but also to generate interest and create an environment of active learning. While prior knowledge can be used to
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