Constructivist Learning

Student Centered Learning

What is constructivist learning?

Constructivist learning is defined in the research as student-centered learning. The constructivist model has roots which can be traced back to the study of behaviorists in psychology as well as current research revolving around the importance of problem solving, working collaboratively with teams, and critical thinking, all skills identified as crucial in the twenty-first century. The constructivist model, more so than a more direct teaching model, allows students to learn through a more collaborative style of learning, focusing on students creating learning from more inquiry based activities which require the student to solve problems through critical thinking exercises independently or more often with a team of peers. Teacher’s roles move from a more traditional lecture model to a facilitator of learning, allowing students to discover and research ideas/concepts to master objectives. Although this type of learning may be seen as a new instructional strategy, research traces the model back to past influential psychologists and educators such as; Piaget, Dewey, and Montessori as the foundation for the underlying constructivist theory on how human beings learn. Vygotsky’s theories surrounding cognitive development have also influenced teaching by providing research which supports teachers using constructivist strategies to teach such as scaffolding learning, cooperative learning, project-based learning and discovery learning.