Constructivism and Instructional Design Essay

2197 Words9 Pages
Constructivism and Instructional Design Constructivism is currently enjoying popularity as a "new theory" in education. In reality, the theory traces its roots through Piaget and Dewey to Kant. Constructivists align their beliefs with Kant’s writings on the interaction of the innate mind structures with the world. The individual can never know the "world-in-itself," only the world as it is constructed in the individual’s experience. Piaget traced his constructivist roots to Kant but Piaget sought to identify the structures of the mind behind the cognitive behaviors characteristic of each stage of human development. (Noddings, 1995) While Piaget wrote primarily on genetic development, Dewey stressed a student’s knowledge grew and…show more content…
(Duffy, 1991) Constructivism takes a different approach to developing instruction than the traditional approach taken by objectivism. Objectivist instruction communicates knowledge by breaking it into component parts and then systematically presenting the components to learners. Objectivism begins by deciding what the student needs to know and then constructing a task analysis of that knowledge. After analyzing the existing abilities of the learners, the instructional designer develops a strategy to communicate the required information to the learners. Assessments are used to determine if the communication process was successful. The process is usually conducted in an artificial setting, such as a classroom, to minimize distractions. By contrast, constructivist instruction seeks to provide learners with their own means of constructing their own interpretation of a problem. Constructivism begins by selecting a task relevant to the learner’s lived experience. The instructional strategy provides tools for inquiring into the problem and various means for collecting information about the problem in order to understand or construct solutions to the problem. The task is usually accomplished better by working in a group than by working alone. The instructor helps the learner see multiple perspectives. No separate test is required since constructivism believes successful completion of the task indicates successful learning. The emphasis is on showing
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