A journey into Constructivism
Martin Dougiamas - November, 1998
I had some trouble with the self-referential nature of the material. Since the subject is the "meaning of meaning" at various levels, it's easy to become confused and fall into a "black hole" where text seems meaningless. How can I know from reading texts what authors think, and what works? How can I realise my own understanding? How can I communicate my understandings to you?
Despite this, I feel the struggle to construct this text to try and represent my learning as a result of interacting with a wide diversity of other texts has been a rewarding one. It has helped me develop constructivism in my mind as a referent to apply to my own day-to-day practices and research in communication, teaching and learning.
I hope that reading this will also help you, the reader, reflect critically on your own life, and perhaps increase your own satisfaction with your educational activities.
A word about the writing
styles I've chosen to use in this essay. For the most part, I've written
in the first-person, since this essay is an expression of my thoughts (Ellis,
1996). However, I often use a third-person style, which is not intended
to impart a sense of objectivity, but to make it easier to read passages
describing the ideas of others.
My youth was spent as an isolated child in small desert towns in central Australia. Much of my school education was undertaken in distance mode via School of the Air, using shortwave radio. I had half an hour of contact with a teacher per day, with several hours self-directed study using worksheets and projects. Moving to the city in my teens, I attended a normal high school, followed by seven years of University education. At University, I studied Engineering, Physics and finally Computer Science, and then gained some intensive experience programming visualisation systems for the mining industry.
In the five years since then, I have worked within Curtin University of Technology on Internet technologies: analysing systems, solving problems, educating other users in the technology, helping people to solve their own problems. For the first two years I worked on the help-desk - a demanding job involving an average of ten or twenty wide-ranging consultations a day. Later, I focussed more on the Internet, including the design and operations of Curtin's main web sites.
During much of this time, the same issues kept arising in the way people came to deal with the technology. I tried to distill these issues into an Internet Overview seminar, which I used and developed over a four-year period with a wide variety of adult learners. By monitoring reactions to my experiments in teaching, I kept the parts that seemed to work, and changed the areas that didn't, letting the course evolve each time.
I felt that I knew enough about the technologies, and had an intuitive sense of communicating my enthusiasm and knowledge to others, yet wondered how I could improve the quality of my teaching at a more rapid pace than simply relying on direct feedback. I was also becoming very interested in developing better interfaces to computers to solve many of the problems before they arose, but sensed that I needed a more theoretical foundation than the occasional forays I had already made into cognitive psychology, design, complexity theory and computer science.
After some exploration of options around my University, I decided modern science education theory might offer what I was needing.
After explaining some of this to Dr Peter Taylor, he suggested enrolling in his course on Constructivism, as part of a Masters in Science Education. At the time, I had only a very vague notion of what it was - I actually thought it was something like behaviourism! - but Peter assured me I'd find it interesting.
He was right!
The first thing I did
after enrolling was to go and hunt down a few web pages about constructivism.
After reading them, I tried to describe in my own words what constructivism
In this section I'll describe the major "faces of constructivism" separately, because it is more helpful for me to write about them in that way, and hopefully for you to read about them, although perhaps both will be in a non-linear fashion.
Each of these types of constructivism should not be seen as a set of methods, or as a fixed manifesto-like set of beliefs. They are "points of view", perspectives loosely defined by a collection of writings of particular individuals in each case. My research is not comprehensive, and nor could it be, but these sections represent popular labels in constructivist literature used as shorthand to indicate these different groups of ideas. Indeed, you can also say that "constructivist literature" is defined by their use of these labels, since the ideas are related to many other philosophical labels.
The points of contact between these concepts are many, as are the connections they can make within your own life. As I work through these sections, I am endeavouring to point out major relationships as I've seen them in developing my own understanding of constructivism as a referent - a perspective I can apply to a wide variety of situations to help me make choices about my actions and to help reflect on what I've done.
Most importantly, behind
all of this are values that are rarely discussed openly in constructivism
literature. Why do we even want to create models of learning? Why do we
feel we need to improve the quality of education? In constructivism I see
a hidden value ascribed to the notions of diversity and adaptability, which
in turn promote the root value: survival of our species. Learners who can
adapt quickly by learning in a complex world are more likely to adapt to
changing conditions and survive as an individual. As an insurance against
our future, more capable individuals are also more likely to discover answers
to the questions we haven't even thought of asking yet. A diverse population
is also more likely to ensure survival in the event of unpredicted disasters,
since different people may be affected differently.
The simplest idea in constructivism, and the root of all the other shades of constructivism described later in this text, is what von Glasersfeld (eg 1990) calls trivial constructivism, also known as personal constructivism. The principle has been credited to Jean Piaget, a pioneer of constructivist thought, and can be summed up by the following statement:
To me, this seemed obvious, and it seemed to be compatible with most opinions I'd ever read about teaching or science. Learning is work - effective learning requires concentration. There are some things you have to learn before others. The education system has always been built on a progression of ideas from simple to complex. So, so far, nothing really new. Hence, probably, von Glasersfeld's characterisation as "trivial".
Questions arise, however.
What is "the environment"? What is "knowledge"? What is the relation of
knowledge to "the environment"? What environments are better for learning?
Trivial constructivism alone says nothing about these issues, and these
are the shortcomings that the other faces of constructivism attempt to address.
adds a second principle to trivial constructivism (von Glasersfeld, 1990),
which can be expressed as:
Within the constraints that limit our construction there is room for an infinity of alternatives. "Truth" in traditional epistemologies is replaced by "viability", bounded by social and physical constraints. The large diversity of flourishing public opinions in today's society on nearly every conceivable topic is evidence that a range of viable constructs are possible to allow survival and growth in the world.
So how can people with different world views communicate? From a radical constructivist perspective, communication need not involve identically shared meanings between participants. It is sufficient for their meanings to be compatible (Hardy and Taylor, 1997). If neither of the parties does anything completely unexpected to the other, then their illusions of identically shared meaning are maintained (von Glasersfeld, 1990).
The emphasis here is
still clearly on the individual learner as a constructor. Neither trivial
nor radical constructivism look closely at the extent to which the human
environment affects learning: it is regarded as part of the total environment.
These issues are focussed on in more detail by social, cultural and critical
Many of the authors that identify with social constructivism trace their ideas back to Vygotsky (e.g., 1978), a pioneering theorist in psychology who focussed on the roles that society played in the development of an individual.
Cobb (1994) examines whether the "mind" is located in the head or in social action, and argues that both perspectives should be used in concert, as they are each as useful as the other. What is seen from one perspective as reasoning of a collection of individuals mutually adapting to each other's actions can be seen in another as the norms and practices of a classroom community (Cobb, 1998).
This dialectic is examined
in more detail in a strong paper by Salomon and Perkins (1998), who suggest
ways that these "acquisition" and "participation" metaphors of learning
interrelate and interact in synergistic ways. They model the social entity
as a learner (for example, a football team, a business or a family), compare
it with the learning of an individual in a social setting, and identify
three main types of relations:
It's interesting to
observe the construction process of the wide community of intellectual publishers:
liberal quoting of each other's ideas, combining, arguing, extending and
recombining them in order to construct our social and cultural understanding
of thought, understanding and ultimately human nature.
Taylor (1996) describes critical constructivism as a social epistemology that addresses the socio-cultural context of knowledge construction and serves as a referent for cultural reform. It confirms the relativism of radical constructivism, and also identifies the learner as being suspended in semiotic systems similar to those earlier identified in social and cultural constructivism. To these, critical constructivism adds a greater emphasis on the actions for change of a learning teacher. It is a framework using the critical theory of Jurgen Habermas to help make potentially disempowering cultural myths more visible, and hence more open to question through conversation and critical self-reflection.
An important part of that framework is the promotion of communicative ethics, that is, conditions for establishing dialogue oriented towards achieving mutual understanding (Taylor, 1998). The conditions include: a primary concern for maintaining empathetic, caring and trusting relationships; a commitment to dialogue that aims to achieve reciprocal understanding of goals, interests and standards; and concern for and critical awareness of the often-invisible rules of the classroom, including social and cultural myths. This allows rational examination of the often implicit "claims to rightness" of the participants, especially those derived from social institutions and history (Taylor, 1996).
Cultural myths that are prevalent in today's education systems include (Taylor, 1996):
- The rationalist myth of cold reason - where knowledge is seen as discovery of an external truth. This can lead to the picture of the teacher in a central role as transmitter of objective truths to students. This philosophy does not promote clarifying relevance to the lives of students, but instead promotes a curriculum to be delivered.
- The myth of hard control - which renders the teacher's classroom role as controller, and "locks teachers and students into grossly asymmetrical power relationships designed to reproduce, rather than challenge, the established culture".
Modification of such
entrenched environments to reduce these myths and promote approaches based
on constructivism is problematic, because of the self-reinforcing nature
of administration, and the effects of wider culture. Taylor (1996) argues
for an optimistic approach, and that teachers need to work collegially towards
reconstructing education culture together rather than heroically on their
Gergen (1995) explores the use of the metaphor of dialogue to evaluate a number of educational practices. Particularly, he views knowledge as fragments of dialogue, "knowledgeable tellings" at a given time within an ongoing relationship. This relationship can be between learners, between a learner and a teacher, or between a learner and an environment experienced by the learner. Gergen describes a lecture as a conversation where, because the lecturer has already set the content, the student enters part-way through the dialogue and finds they have no voice within it.
Steier (1996) looks into this dialogue process in more detail. Unlike the communicative ethics of Taylor (1998) which also suggest ways to set up a discursive environment, Steier highlights the circularity of reflective thinking in social research, and presents a number of ways mirroring occurs between learners (like two mirrors facing each other) where each reciprocator affects the other. Awareness of such issues can help 'frame' the dialogue used to communicate more effectively.
I've found these constructionist metaphors powerful in thinking about Internet-based tools to support learning, and it will help inform me in research I'm just starting (Dougiamas, 1999). Particularly, the Internet's strengths as a resource and for communication support Gergen's advocation of problem-centred inter-disciplinary study, and the problems of representation are also crucial in a low-bandwidth environment.
For your own learning,
this single essay is a very poor vehicle, no matter how clear I try and
make it. Here I am, late at night, stringing together words about constructivism
in my word processor, and there you are, reading these words using your
own cognitive framework, developed via your own unique background and frameworks
of language and meaning. I am translating a variety of texts, using them
to build an understanding on my own background, then translating my new
understandings into building my own text, which you are deconstructing to
reconstruct your own understanding. Like Chinese whispers, all these translations
are introducing unknowns. I don't know, and can never know if I am reaching
you. In attempting to teach through this medium, all I can hope to do is
to stimulate a curiosity in you to read further on these subjects, to write
about them, to talk to people about them, and to apply them wherever possible
in your own situations.
Constructivism also can be used to indicate a theory of communication. When you send a message by saying something or providing information, and you have no knowledge of the receiver, then you have no idea as to what message was received, and you can not unambiguously interpret the response.
Viewed in this way,
teaching becomes the establishment and maintenance of a language and a means
of communication between the teacher and students, as well as between students.
Simply presenting material, giving out problems, and accepting answers back
is not a refined enough process of communication for efficient learning.
Some of the tenets of constructivism in pedagogical terms:
- Students come to class with an established world-view, formed by years of prior experience and learning.
- Even as it evolves, a student's world-view filters all experiences and affects their interpretation of observations.
- For students to change their world-view requires work.
- Students learn from each other as well as the teacher.
- Students learn better by doing.
- Allowing and creating opportunities for all to have a voice promotes the construction of new ideas.
I remember how difficult it was to make sense of my first few attempts to read constructivism literature. As I read the texts the words "slipped" through my mind, like trying to catch water in a net. The words made sense, the sentences made sense, I could parrot the phrases, but the meanings were threadbare. There were few connections to experiences and ideas that could be said to make a rich meaning. I had "intellectual knowing", but not "knowing".
Now, after much dialogue with texts and people, reflection, and by constructing representations of my understandings, I feel I have improved my knowing of constructivism. I have a greater sense of the richer 'cloud of baggage' I have developed around some of the concepts within constructivism, as indeed any concept I develop over a long period. This cloud has been enriched by multiple approaches to understanding - by listening, by reading, by speaking, by writing, by working in groups, pairs and alone, by applying it to various situations, and by having to write this essay. I find it easier to speak and write about constructivism using my own words, and to apply the ideas in situations I have not encountered before. I have a deeper understanding of perspective and context, and try to be more critical of texts in terms of the author's background, and social situations in terms of the environment and participants.
I feel I have an understanding of the effectiveness of approaching teaching by attempting to know more about the background of the learners, and attempting to stimulate multiple situations of communication between teacher and learner, between learners, and between learners and experience, in order to promote their own development of knowledge relevant to them and to their physical and social environment.
I can see the value of epistemological pluralism, and a variety of referents held in dialectic tension. The various faces of constructivism can be useful in their own right in various circumstances. In some cases, even methods derived from an objectivist framework still have value, as long as they are critically applied and their context is made clear.
From writing my journal and writing this essay, I also have a better feel for the value of a constructionist approach, as well as the value of a reflective account for qualitative assessment of learning. These aspects in particular I think will help me in developing Internet-based learning.
Despite the very fluid
nature of constructivism and it's many faces, I now believe that attempting
to understand it while simultaneously applying that understanding in a reflective
manner promotes the development of influential mental constructs that are
useful in the pursuit of more effective communications, teaching and learning.
Cobb, P. (1998) Analyzing the mathematical learning of the classroom community: the case of statistical data analysis, In: Proceedings of the 22nd Conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education 1, pp 33-48, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
Cobern, W (1993) Contextual Constructivism: The impact of culture on the learning and teaching of science. In: K. Tobin (Ed) The Practice of Constructivism in Science Education, pp 51-69, Lawrence-Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ.
Cole, M. & Wertsch, J. V. (1996). Beyond the individual-social antimony in discussion of Piaget and Vygotsky. Human Development, 39, pp 250-256.
Costa, A. & Liebmann, R. (1995). Process is as important as content. Educational Leadership. 52(6), pp 23-24.
Dougiamas, M. (1999). Moodle - a web application for building quality online courses. http://moodle.com/.
Ellis, C. (1996). Evocative Autoethnography: Writing Emotionally about our lives. In: W.G. Tierney and Y.S. Lincoln (Eds) Reframing the Narrative Voice.
Gergen, K.J. (1995) Social Construction and the Educational Process. In L.P. Steffe & J.Gale (Eds) Constructivism in education (pp 17-39). Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Hardy and Taylor (1997), Von Glasersfeld's Radical Constructivism: A Critical Review, Science and Education, 6, pp 135-150, Kluwer
Papert, S (1991) Preface, In: I. Harel & S. Papert (Eds), Constructionism, Research reports and essays, 1985-1990 (p. 1), Norwood NJ.
Salomon, G. and Perkins, D. (1998) Individual and Social Aspects of Learning, In: P. Pearson and A. Iran-Nejad (Eds) Review of Research in Education 23, pp 1-24, American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC
Steier, F. (1995) From Universing to Conversing: An Ecological Constructionist Approach to Learning and Multiple Description. In L.P. Steffe & J.Gale (Eds) Constructivism in education (pp 67-84). Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Taylor, P. (1996) Mythmaking and mythbreaking in the mathematics classroom, In: Educational Studies in Mathematics 31, pp 151-173
Taylor, P. (1998) Constructivism: Value added, In: B. Fraser & K. Tobin (Eds), The International handbook of science education, Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic
Tobin, K. & Tippins, D (1993) Constructivism as a Referent for Teaching and Learning. In: K. Tobin (Ed) The Practice of Constructivism in Science Education, pp 3-21, Lawrence-Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ.
Von Glasersfeld, E. (1990) An exposition of constructivism: Why some like it radical. In R.B. Davis, C.A. Maher and N. Noddings (Eds), Constructivist views on the teaching and learning of mathematics (pp 19-29). Reston, Virginia: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Vosniadou, S. (1996). Towards a revised cognitive psychology for new advances in learning and instruction. Learning and Instruction 6, 95-109.
Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Wood, T., Cobb, P. &
Yackel, E. (1995). Reflections on learning and teaching mathematics in
elementary school. In L. P. Steffe & J.Gale (Eds) Constructivism
in education (pp 401-422). Hillsdale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Comments have now been disabled on this page
I've been getting a lot of email feedback, so I thought I'd add this comment facility to the web page.
I´m a teacher en Hig school and colege en México,especially in Tampico state. Now, I´m intersted in learn more about the cosntructivism, because I going to teach other teacher that are my partners, but I need study more about this pedagogical innovation. I hope your e-mail. other thing, I need more pedagogical strategies in the teachness. Thank you.
I'm a third grade teacher taking Master's classes in Instructional Technology. Thanks for making your essay easy to understand.
iam from gaza in palistine Ilove what you write Im earlychildhood teacher traner Idoing reaserch for ph.d in costructive ply applying piaget inthe pre school please help me whith any informaton related excuseme for the languige becuase im arabic women.thnkyou so much,
Thank you for writing about your journey, I am starting on your pathway for a PhD, and enjoyed reading your simplistic explanations and analogies. Before reading your journey notes, I started to become bogged down in 'models' of learning and asking similair questions.
A positive factor for my research is that I have the opportunity through action research to monitor the changes from traditional methods of teaching to student-centred learning using a constructivist approach.
Thank you again
Thanks Martin for sharing your thoughts, they have caused me to reflect further about my own beliefs about constructivism. Perhaps what I found most inspiring was your willingness to try and model constructivism in the way you shared your ideas. This modeling demonstrates how much you value these ideas, and that for you this is not simply an academic exercise or the means of being associated with the latest pedagogical fad.
One last hit on research of Constructivism on a sleepless night...and I found your insightful and refreshing observations. I return tomorrow to interact with a gifted group of 'At Risk' Middle School students with renewed enthusiasm for what we have been attempting and the realization that the interactive experience of constructing and expanding knowledge is and should be a pleasurable experience in and of itself. I appreciate permission to cite your paper in my application for National Teacher Board Certification. Thanks for the insight.
I am writing a research paper for one of my education classes in college and I believe that what you have written will greatly help me put a paper together in order to get an A. Great Job!! Sincerely, Leland
I am a student in China. I decide to write something on constructivism for my graduation paper.I want to write about the application of constructivism to language teaching. But it seems that all papers on constructivism are on teaching of science. I wonder whether we can also apply it to the teaching of social sciences, like language teaching. I badly need your help. Thank you!
I dips-me-lid. Great essay. I have been travelling OZ presenting a Science show and working locally as a specialist science teacher [primary]since being packaged out in 1993. I also present PD and Family Science nights to schools in the Gippsland Region. Your interpretations on Constructivism have helped me with a few ways of explaining to others. Thanks Royce
Hey there, it is a pretty interesting essay you wrote tehre. I am a postgrad student in Germany and my UNi is specialising on Constructivistical Media Theory. It should be worth to check out some sociological approaches by some German sociologists and also French ones such as: Giesecke, Merten, Chomsky (pretty interesting, as he works on the edge between sociology and biochemistry) and Schmidt. Youll find their work very interesting, you might also want to check out the LUMIS institute in Siegen-Germany.
Sorry, I forgot to add the link: http://www.lumis.uni-siegen.de UNfortunately it is in German, but they have interesting links, and thsi might answer questions I read in the former mails, asking for Constructivism in teaching languages. There is loads on that, cause I don't see it as being mainly about teaching sciences, but about understanding society, mainly if you can compare this to theories such as the system theory by Luhmann, or Neo-Formalism by Alexander. Nough said, enjoy Constructivism, it does change your life.
Martin, I enjoyed reading your paper and especially enjoyed the metaphorical story that introduced each area of constructionism. I would like to use it as a suppliment for the reanings in the class that I teach here at the University of Georgia. John
Dear Martin, I'm a high school D.P. in South Australia and I've just your paper and I found it very intersting. It is my intention to use part of it for a T & D session I'm running for our staff in relation to the introduction of SACSA in 2002. My thanks
Hey Martin: I'm just in the middle of writing one of my last two papers towards my M.Ed. degree at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education in Toronto, Canada. I surfed around until I found your essay, and may I just say I love the format! Alternating your story and your more formal (but still very personal) text is very effective. Good stuff!
I was attracted to your writing because it wasn't filled with words I had to look up. I am beginning a second masters degree and feel refreshed that there doesn't have to be so much mysticism in education.
Martin, your paper is very readable and inspiring. Thanks! I am the consultant for the Spanish Language Support Service in South Australia, Australia. I too am interested in costructivism in LAnguages and will follow up those who have commented on this to you. I appreciate your permission to use part of your paper as we have Professional Development workshops for teachers happening over the year.
Dear martin, I am a part time lecturer in psychology in ireland. And, judging from what you've written, a naive constructivist!I am constantly challenging students to refer to their own experience and to question standard models even though they are only first- years. I had heard of this idea but did not really know what it actually MEANT. I've always had an intrest in language and remember reading Vygotosky's Language and Thought with great interest in college. This was a very interesting paper and i would definitely like to use it at some point.
Hola! Greetings fron Puerto Rico...I am a secondary English teacher and completing a masters in English. I'm taking a course called Constructivism in classrooms and this essay was very helpful and esay to understand, thankyou!
Martin, I am a seventh grade reading teacher in Chester, SC. I am doing a research paper on constructivism for my Curriculum Leadership clas and your paper has really helped me. Thanks so much!
Martian, I am currently studying fourth year (Special Education) at a unviersity in Sydney, Australia. Your paper has helped greatly in my research of effective teaching strategies. It has encouraged me to applying this method in a special education setting for primary aged students.
Dear Martin, I am currently on leave as we have just birthed our 6th child at home with all her sibblings and partners present. I do not want to find I am behind me peers when I return to the workforce so I have downloaded your paper to help me get my head around the South Austrlian Curriculum Standards and Accountability Frameworks, which are based on a constructvist approach to teaching. As an interesting aside, I am sending you a copy of the story of my fifth child's birth, I have not written our 2 month old daughters birth account yet. Cheers Cheryl Glenie
I'm studying constructivism within my graduate course at SUNY - Albany. The text we were assigned is difficult reading to say the least. Thanks for clarifying the main ideas. Its been a great help and I will add your site to my journal if you don't mind!
Dear Martin, I have found your perspectives and explanations to be clear and concise for teachers in my Educational Technologies courses at the University of Dayton. In fact, as a requirement for a Web-based course, students participate in a "Treasure Hunt" that is an overview of Constructivism. Your site has been highly rated by our students. Thank you!
Thanks for sharing this paper, it has put labels to many ideas and experiences for me. It may be useful for you to visit an Early Childhood environment, say kindy or childcare, some of whom have been using these principles for a long time.
Martin, I am currently working on my Master's in Educational Leadership and am writing a paper on using constructivist classroom setting on increasing the motivation levels of high school students. I would like to use your research as a help in putting my paper together. As I move along with things, I will keep you in touch. If you have any suggestions, please send them my way.
Isn't the net awesome! I'm a highschool art teacher in Canberra. I'm studying a MEd and I'm just trying to choose units for next year and got to searching. I like your writing style. I've only just started reading, so I will keep going. Cheers, Helen
Dear Martin,I am currently working on my master's on the use of constructivist learning in enhancing student's achievement and their attitudes towards English as a foreign language especially what is connected to enhancing theoral skills of language .could you please help me in this regard.
Dear Martin,I am currently working on my master's on the use of constructivist learning in enhancing student's achievement and their attitudes towards English as a foreign language especially what is connected to enhancing theoral skills of language .could you please help me in this regard.
Hellow!Mr.pro Now,I am studying the theory of constructivism as a Master.I feel this theory is interesting and it will have a strong impact on the theory of learning in the future,I don't think passtive instruction can solve the question of human's learning in the knowledge society. We can not know the world itself,because it is too complicated.what we must do will be finding and constructing the "world" belonging to ourselves.from prehistoric time to now,human being have been constructing their knowledge world in this way.History is created by human being himself,not by the nature.Rule of the nature reflects human's selection.
Martin I am starting along the same 'journey'as yourself and trying to write an assignment for a Education Masters course! I am trying to summarise the Constructivists into a table, so you work has helped me see the basic principles and differences between them all! Thanks
Hi, there! It´s simply amazing how the intricated Web brought me here, being a Luhmannian´s last term Sociology student, looking for ideas, background and inspiration to come up with a paper for a subject called "Information Technologies and Social Links". Great essay you have here! Could I cite it in my paper? It will very much help me make my point in front of a Neo-marxist board. Curiosly enough, your work has also enlightened me as to the kind of orientation I´d like to give to my 3-year-old daughter. Thank you very much for being so generous with your experience. Best regards. Miriam
I was one of three teachers who founded a school in 1996 based on the principles of constructivism and interdisciplinarity, two areas I had researched during my Master's program. In addition, to make things even more interesting, we set it up as a multiage classoom, 7-13. Although the workload was unbelievable (there are no real curricula you can buy with all 3 aspects combined) it was unbelievably fun, and very liberating. As an educational experiment, it proved that children flourish intellectually when given these three aspects simultaneously in their academic lives. I have this year turned over my teaching position to another and am focusing on researching and giving workshops on these foundational approaches to teaching. Your paper is very well written and provides an excellent synopsis of a vital--and too often lacking--pedagogical tool.
Martin. I am currently writing my masters thesis...reading constructivists pychological theories and gestalt psychological theories through an indigenous worldview...a critique. Your paper has helped me get my head around some difficult issues when written in psychological language. I have emailed you separate from this comment. Thankyou.
I'm just starting a Master's in teaching at the University of Sydney and found your article to be of great value. I had merely the simplistic version of constructivism in my head and I thank you for directing me to widen my definition. The approach you adopt of inter-weaving your mental landscape with a more physical one is tremendous and I’d like to see you improve this by allowing these parallel worlds to reach some sort of conclusion. We were asked in seminar the other day to think of a meaningful learning experience and mine was reading a philosophy book on my own after I’d been kicked out of University for a year (back in 1977). The book, although widely held to be of poor philosophy, was nevertheless brilliantly written and used the same technique as you adopt. He uses a motorcycle trip across the U.S.A. where all kinds of opportunities for parallels of both mental and physical high ground present themselves as he heads into the Rockies. Great stuff - very captivating. The book is Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig (1974). I may try to develop this technique myself as I find it incredibly evocative.
Hi, I'm doing my last year of my PhD in Education at Qeensland University of Technology- Australia. I am researching preschool and year one teacher's perceptions of children's readiness for school from a social contructivist framework (Elizabeth Graue has done alot of work in this area). I am interested in any more information on this framework/area. Can anyone help? More information on social constructivism???
It would be better, I think, if this text was broken into it's sections, so that comments could be attached to the individual sections.
I am a year one student studying teacher training, I found your paper very intresting. Would it be possible if you could give me some help on How does a knowledge and understanding of theories of cognitive development support professional practise. This is a practise essay question similar to that, that I have to write my self would it be possible if you could help me.
I am a forth year student at Bindura University studying for Med.Ifound your article very interesting and helpful. thank you.
ini ndinonzi dred ndinoba nyama .tatenda.
Fantastic -- I'm researching "online seif-organizing social systems" (OSOSS) following the work on David Wiley (http://wiley.ed.usu.edu/)thoughts on social constructivism most helpful. Thanks.
I am a computer programmer and consult to organizations and communities that are changing. One example of my work can be found at http://www.interdepend.org. I come to your work through references in the Open Source Software community. My impression has been formed by first viewing moodle and then by reading this article. I am impressed by how the theory discussed in the article is realized in your software. Your work has opened my eyes to a whole new field. Thanks. You are doing great service. Brillintly. John
I dunno, folks... This is all very interesting, but why yammer on and on about Constructivism or any other obscure (and happily so) teaching concept when all one must do to teach is simple teach the pupil to read, write, subtract, divide, or cut up the silly dead frog in that pan full of asphalt on the desk? I realize that if you don't "yammer," you won't receive your Masters degree. That might be better for your future pupils, but not for you, of course. Maybe that's the reason so many students fail to learn: their teachers are bored to death with real teaching and become sidetracked by (allegedly) esoteric pedagogical abstractions. Not to be a kill-joy, of course, I think your "distance learning" software is remarkable. I really do. Much more impressive than any oddball educational theories. I think Moodle is a lot more important than Constructivism. Hell's bells, man, ya want koans, get into Zen! By the way, here's a Yank with a very enlightening book. He was Teacher of the Year in both New York City and New York State. His new book is being posted online, one chapter per month. http://www.johntaylorgatto.com Reards, Tsun
Heh. The software wouldn't exist in this form if I wasn't using this theoretical framework. Theory DOES affect practice you know. :-)
I am a PhD students and currently doing a course on constructivism. Your piece is well articulated. I would suggest that you write a book, Martin. Best of luck
martin, i told you i sighted this paper once back in 2000. now iam popping in to read it again. doing my SMEC692 porject. thanks for making it available to us..amton (SMEC 2002)
I´m a lecture in IKIP Singaraja BAli. I´m interested in learn more about the cosntructivism, because I going to teach other teacher that are my partners, but I need study more about this pedagogical innovation. I hope your e-mail. other thing, I need more pedagogical strategies in the teachness. Thank you.
Nice paper, but I strongly recommend that you take a closer look at the work of George Kelly who arguably started it all in the mid-50s with his Constructive Alternativism philosophy, which was tightly integrated with his Personal Construct Psychology (PCP) theory. Let me know what you think...
Hey, I just wanted to say "thank you" for sharing your paper with the "world". I have just completed 3,000 word paper on constructivism, and having slogged through several text book in two-days, I found your paper a breath of fresh air. You paper allowed me to solidify many previously disparate concepts I had read in my textbooks. I'd like to use small sections of your paper in my own paper. I will of course give you full credit.
I really enjoyed reading this piece of work you did.I am a second year teacher trainee and would love for you to mail me anything else that would be worthwhile in teaching and learning through constructivism. thank you.
I just want to say, you are the best. Your writing to simple and easy to understand, even I am malay student. Thanks for making your essay easy to understand. You help me to explain to others. Now I am studying of pedagogy as a master.Thank you.
I just want to say, you are the best. Your writing to simple and easy to understand, even I am malay student. Thanks for making your essay easy to understand. You help me to explain to others. Now I am studying of pedagogy as a master.Thank you.
I'm using your paper as one of my citations in the process of answering my cmprehensive examination questions for my doctorate in the College of Education at the University of Hawai`i, at Manoa. Thanks for writing such a clear, concise paper. It fits well with my otehr citations. Aloha, Joe Laszlo
Martin, I'm from Argentina, but I'm living in Saskatchewan, Canada. I'm a teacher in early childhood education. All my learnings are about Constructivism, because in Argentina it is standard practice. Here in Canada the most important is the Montessori methodology (private education), it is my concern that application method is little bit old. I'm very interested to find out more information, in Canada about Piaget and which kind of working there's in english about it. Your work and approach are interesting.
I'm a first year teacher at an inner city elementary school. After reading your article, I plan to attempt to bring a constructivist approach to teaching into my classroom. Thanks-
I am doing my phd. in studying Vygotsky's theory and try to relate it to the learning of 'probability' among my sudents. This is because the performance of them on 'probability' is not so good.Please guide me how can I relate this theory with the subject of 'probability'.
I am studying a Graduate Diploma of Secondary Education through a long distance course from Australia whilst living in London. I rely heavily on the internet for resources and I have so far found the topic on constructivism extremely extensive in knowledge, especially on the internet but a lot of the information is unenlightening and short or costs money. I was delighted to come across your essay which has been an easy and understandable read. A lot of texts have complicated language and I constantly have the dictionary out which then means that I've lost the meaning and all the sentences are fragmented and hence my understanding. Thanks for your enlightening critique.
Martin, Thank you for your work researching constructivism. I am currently working on my master's and the basis for my lit review and journal article is constructivism. I will be citing your essay.
Martin, am doing a post-grad course Bachelor of Teaching in Geelong, Victoria, Australia. Your paper was great, very clear and easy to read. Will use it and credit you in an assignment. More importantly, your piece has really helped build my understandings of constructivism. Thanks.
i am a student at the University Of the South Pacific and studing for a degree in education.So i need to learn more on constructivism.Thanks
Martin, thanks for your insight and research on constructivism, I am in the process of writing an essay for an educational psychology class and reading your essay has helped me put some ideas together.
This idea is really hard for to explain in english Lo paradogico del constructivismo es que a pesar de que cada quien toma su propio camino para construirse su interpretación de la realidad y sus formas de intervenir en ella, al final a pesar de lo duro o facil del camino todos tenemos ideas muy similares. Saludos Toño
Interesting content, but almost unreadble presentation. Why combine <font size=+1> and <BODY TEXT="#777777"> making a large grey font on a white background?
Martin, I find your work very amusing, interesting, easy to understand, and educational. I'm finalising an assignment and I came across your work. Well done!!!! I admire your creative analogies. Did you say those meatballs were sweet??? Cheers!!!! Thank you.
I'm a postgrad. student and I think your section on social constructivism is useful for my research. I would appreciate it if I could cite some of the info. and the references. FYI, there's a book by CUP titled "Psychology for Language Teachers: a Social Constructivist Approach" has also elements of constructivism and is easy reading. Thanks.
Hi Friend, Welcome to North-East of Thailand again.. I can guide for you and your families. Cherrs, Surachet (MOODLE member)
Im a student teacher in Mackay Australia in my final year of what is primarily a constructist course. We ate taught to be facilitators of students knowledge and to teach students to be actively engaged and all the usual stuff. I enjoyed reading your paper, and yes it was late at night when i was struggling over my own philosophy of teaching and trying to determine just where my values and principals lie. I did enjoy your work and it assisted in making a few more links in my knowledge.
That was a lesson in why you need to take time to proof read a little better.
I enjoyed that - very useful - thanks!
Thanks to Martain and to all, I am doing my PhD in Glasgow University, in Curriculum Evaluation, and I am intristing in constructivism in science education,My study will focus on the evaluation of the initial science teacher preparation program to investigate student teachers understanding of constructivism and thier atitudes towards using this theory in teaching science in secondary schools.I need any help and Support especially in development of atitudes instruments in such field.
Martin, Do you have any thoughts or ideas around eLearning interfaces that could best support a constructivist learning experience?
The way we learn is there, but the purpose not only be to have a degree. The idea of the constructivism (social, simplistic , etc.) should be taken in the enterprises to increase the productivity and the hapiness of employees. The use of new technologies (Talking about e-learning in particular moodle) could arrive to the last point. But we need integrate moodle with an eviroment of colaboration of projects at work. Martin, Congratulations for your work. Sincerely, Erick Brito
Thanks you for excelent works... we are working about skill of learning in mathematics... and we had founded wonderful your moddle...-
Hi, Martin, Like others, I appreciate your paper and very much appreciate the opportunity you give to write about it and to see others' comments. I have felt (with my limited exposure to constructivism) that there are constuctivists who believe that there is ultimately no objective reality. Would you say this true? I have also felt that there are what I would call pragmatic constructivists who, considering themselves as following constructivism, might take some of the ideas included in constructivism (students learn by doing, for example) without believing there is no objective reality. --Alan
Martin, I truly appreciate your making this paper available. I am still grappling with the concepts presented and filtering the primary theories of constructivism through my own experiential filter. Over the next few days, I plan to read and re-read your paper a number of times until my own sense of reality comes into focus. Hopefully, it will have some relation to the mental models or "knowing" you were hoping to convey! Thank you.
me gustaria comentar k esta pagina podria estar mas interesante si stuviera en español... para facilitar el uso de los usuarios
I must say, this is one of the best elaborations of learning and educational theory I've come across for a long, long time. As someone who teaches and coaches second chance adults, as someone who started late in life to reap the benefits of education and thinking, and as someone who's also placed their feet (had to) firmly on the ground, even though its been swampy at times, this whole exposition is a remarkable revelation. I wish I'd had this a long time ago. I'm so impressed I'll begin my next course on assertion and personal development using some of these references. Moodle, in fact, is a world beater. It dispenses with so much trivia and concentrates purely on what matters - this is becoming rarer in education, often to the detriment of students whose attention span is advert paned. Globally it is developing a critical base because it puts serious professionals in touch with others - by this I don't mean ernest serious, but those who know how to take their opportuities and share their expertise. I think that'll do. Keep up the brilliant work.
Hi I visit your site for the second time, This site is unique, learning online... Greetings from Luc Owner and webdesigner from http://www.artpage.be Belgium
i am a tutor in University Malaysia Sabah. i been searching anything about constructivism in chemistry teaching and learning. is there anything about it from you concerning teaching strategies or structure that suitable for chemistry in middle school and advance level with the constructivism approaches.
Doing a Masters in Adult Education and Global change. There I am studying learning theories. Would like to use your site as reference. What is the reference? cheers sandra
I read your article as my first research on constructivism. I am a professional musician and a high school orchestra director enrolled in a Master's program on Technology in Education. I found it very interesting and related entirely (although I find myself at a totally different, infinitely more basic, stage in my familiarity with the subject) to your comments related to "how difficult it was to make sense of my first few attempts to read constructivism literature. As I read the texts the words "slipped" through my mind, like trying to catch water in a net." Enjoyed your weaving of your travel experiences to Thailand in the essay. It gave it a visual perspective that facilitated the understanding of the more esoteric concepts. Thank you.
We send you the information about our scientific journal. Our journal publishes materials in sphere of natural science education. We hope, that cooperation between scientists of all countries very important task of the present and future. We hope on cooperation and with you. Please see attachment or visit our website at http://vingis.ktu.lt/~jbse Editor-in-Chief Prof. Dr. Vincentas Lamanauskas firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Hello, Martin. I am a student from China. I am engaged in my master's paper on constructivism and CAI in English teaching. I've attended some classes with the use of CAI, but I do feel the use of it so restricted and I find a split of the theories in designing CAI and using it in the classrooms. I am wondering if i could say constructivism need to be applied as a basis throughout the whole process of teaching. Could you give me any suggestions? Thank you.
I am doing my assignment on constructivist approach and ways of curriculum for preschool, such as manipulate toys, early mathematics concepts, water play and children construct knowlege in their minds.
This is good stuff. I have found this area personally challenging - I'm on a distance learning degree course - in computing science. Without it being fully explained to us, this is the approach being used - we were told about "Each one, teach one". I'm involved in my local church, where tradional teaching methods send me to sleep. I have been challenged by this to look at applying these methods to learning in the church environment. I will let you know how I get on in a culture resistant to change!
I am currently pursuing a degree in TESL at Saint Michael's College and am also the full time manager of the Language Learning Resource Center at SMC. I have recently installed Moodle on my personal web site and am truly inspired by technology that is driven by sound theory. Thank you for laying the groundwork for what feels like a true movement within our current perception of education. The work that you have done in this field has proven very valuable in my quest to bring valuable tecnhology assisted learning to SMC. Thanks again! </jeremy>
what is in hawai/
I am doing my hounours and have been asked to prpare a presentation about constractivism, I know what constractivism means but my eyes were blind to give form and content for my understanding of constractivism, but youe essay gave me some light to see. thank you very much.
I like to know more about constructivism, but I am a bit confused the difference between sociocultural theory developed by Rogoff (1990) or Lave and Wenger (1991). Do you think they are difference perspective or the same but different name?
Thank u for ur infor. on that matter. It helps my folio on mthematics approaches and technique.
Am quickly scrolling through this article coz my essay is due in tomorrow. I am grappling with constructivism but know that I have to do what is needed for this essay. So I will be back to check this out again because i liked the way you presented the information, clear and easy to understand when so much other stuff isn't. Also though am interested in opposing views to get the full balance. One more thing just wanted to check someone said about your trip to Thailand but aren't those quotes from the beach or am I completely wrong. Thanks anyway
Hi. I'm coming to the end of a master thesis on "A Microworld for Language Learning; A Constructivist Approach to Designing Star City" and I ran across your paper trying infinite searches to find another one i wanted to see again. Being a great distance from the University where I'd done my coursework, I relied less on books and more on the internet... I just wanted to tell you that I sank into it and read it with deep interest from beginning to end with facination. It was very gripping! Usually I can only say that about novels... The point you make about discussion really felt like a bit of a revelation to me... THAT is exactly what I was missing in this whole masters program, since it was an interdiciplinary program and no one else (including my 2 sponsoring professors!) was interested in my subject!! I was really on my own, and didn't get a grip on this subject until this last process of going onto the internet and "interacting" with other working with the subject, joining the IT forum listserv etc. Thank you! Edy
BEING AN HONOURS STUDENT IN SCIENCE EDUCAION,I FOUND THE PAGE BEING SO HELPFULL AND I CAN FULLY UNDERSTAND WHA CONSTRUCTIVISM IS. THANK YOU.
Good going Martin. I'm impressed. My essay assignment description for Effective Teaching and Learning asks, What is constructivism? I may handball this one on. Good on ya again .
Martin: Simply excellent. I agree with those who thank you for writing about construstivism in a simple, easy to read and understand way. I am refering my students to read your paper. Greetings from Mexico
I am a student a master student in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. I have to write something on constructivism for one of my education classes in university and I believe that what you have written will greatly help me put a paper together in order to get an A. I want to write about the application of constructivism to mathematics teaching. Your interpretations on Constructivism have helped me with a few ways of explaining to others.Thank you! ________________________________________
I am teaching a course on differentiating instruction I hope that your paper will help make the theories of constructivism clear. Text books are presented in lecture format.. your paper will add life to the theory...I hope to create an activity to accompany it. thanks
Researching topic for graduate course at Immaculata University. Very helpful summary and personal disclosure. Have been knee deep in what might be termed "radical construcivism" for past hour, your balance and reality was appreciated
I have just skimmed your article and printed a copy to fully read later. I was an Interactive Math Program HS teacher until Feb. 1,2004 and now work for an NSF grant in the Philadelphia,Pa. area offering Professional Development in Math and Science to teachers of 46 school districts. I am to give a 1 1/2 hour address on August 30th on Constructivism to 50-60 HS Math teachers and I am getting nervous. I plan to use your essay to help me gather my thoughts and plan my presentation. Any suggestions on an activity I can incorporate into my plan to get them involved? Unfortunately they will be in a HS auditorium so I have no way of rearranging into groups - the best I can hope for is pairs. Thank you for any help you can give me. Barbara
An excellent overview of constructivist theories. I will use your frame of organizing the different theories (and cite your website) in a workshop I am doing with medical educators on practical applications of learning theories. theories......many thanks
I so want to get on a plane. Loved the story. Thanks for the overview. x
I was researching and came across your website. Your anecdotal story was a delicious retreat. Thank you for the distraction.
Thanks for the information. I'm writing my masters' project using consturctivism as the basis. I teach middle school science and this information will help a great deal.
Hi, I just want to thank you on making life so easy for me. As a postgraduate student, I have been searching all over for a simple explanation of 'constructivism' until I find your essay. Well done! Greetings from Johannesburg, RSA
I am a first year university student, working through my Bachelor of Education, Primary. I am currently seeking information on social constructivist vs cognitive constructivist and the differing role of each in the classroom. Your website has helped clarrifed a few points and will no doubt be cited in my essay. Thank you for your contribution to this field of learning. Sydney, Australia.
It`s a very interesting approach and a well documented and sustained essay. I`m interested in some of your considerations related to contructivism as a new focus for professional technical adult education
Martin, Found your paper as 1st site cited on MSweb search for "social constructivism." The term had been applied by another author referring to Paulo Feire (1970). If I understand your analysis, Feire would have been a critical constructionist. Or, on the otherhand, it may only be how "my reality" intersects with yours, Paulo and the other author's experiences. Hmmm. I'm researching for a EdD comprehensive examination at PU, Malibu, CA. Thank you for sharing both your learning experiences and a very insightful paper. The fact that your comments provide a topical 4year feedback is also instructive. Richard
Hi there! You wrote: "I don't know, and can never know if I am reaching you". Now you do know that you are reaching people. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I especially enjoyed the mixture with the travel sections. Warm regards from Mexico
Dear Martin: Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am studying a master degree in education and I am learning about "Constructivism". Your essay is very insteresting and it is so useful for understanding about this theme. Than you very much. Receive my admiration from Chihuahua, Mexico.
We had PD session and given the website teach-nology.com. From that site I found your article. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge with others.
I 'am from indonesia. I feel difficult to get infomation ebout theories of contructivism. I wanna tanks to Mr who wrote this journal, because I am still finishing my thesis a bout contruktivisme in relation to indoensian conteks.
Some of the information I had found on the net was hard to decifer. As an external student of Bachelor in Early Childhood Education, living in Port Augusta, South Australia, with little networking, it was a releif to find I was on the right track after reading a paper that was easy to understand. Thankyou Martin!
Thank you for your kindness to share your article with me and also others. Can I have a copy of your journal that have this paragraph in it. "Constructivism is building on knowledge known by the student. Education is student-centred, students have to construct knowledge themselves. Explanations can use metacognition to explain via metaphor. Semiotics, or meanings of words, are important to keep in mind. Constructivism is a theory, a tool, a lens for examining educational practices. (from my journal, July 1998)"
Thanks for sharing your own journey Martin! Like others that have posted here, I'm just starting out on mine! (Just finished a Dip. Ed. in Adult Ed and am working for TAFE). Your essay has given me some ideas for where I can focus my own learning! Hope to reflect on this on my blog! BTW: Loving Moodle too!
Actually, if anyone even gets to the bottom of these comments and reads here, and thinks, "gee, i'd love to interact with how other people have understood this essay", then please comment on my understanding :-) here: http://www.absoludity.net/blog/index.php?p=75
Hi, I'm a mexican student interested in doing his final thesis about constructivism in international relations. Your paper will be used as a backgroud and I hope it will not bother you to be quotated. Thanx a lot
I am interested in reading more on social constructivism as it has relevance to a study I am presently doing.
Dear Martin, I really appreciated the easy pace of your narration. I was introduced to ideas of constructionism and post-modernism quite a while back but never really became comfortable with them. Your article has given me one (of many) starting point in my research for an article on cultural relativism and science. So even though your approach centered on the impact on teaching and curriculum, you covered enough basic (epistemological) ground to be included in my basic reading. Many thanks! Best, Aman
I'm a first year PhD student @Nottingham University, UK. I found this paper really Good, straight to the point and easy to understand. This has been very helpful to me. Thank you so much. In fact, I will hunt for your papers and use them as my bible. thank you.
Very helpfull. We're designing a school wich is based on the principles you describe. A very challenging perspective. Greeting The Netherlands
A great introduction to the philosophy. This stuff should be taught from pre-school through to graduate school. Actually, I think that grad schools at some universities should get with the time; rumor has it that the constructivism approach is being used in some pre-schools.
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I believe your essay is very well done. I want to use it as a reference for a paper I am writing. Thank you so much for sharing. Marlene
Thanks for the work you've done. It really simplifies the meaning of constructivism to me. I'm currently doing my Master's degree in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and need to cite some of your work in my writing.
Recognize the growth of your website and begin to present new information. Masterful essay.
I just started looking into Claude Shannon's Information Theory and how Constructivism might intersect with it. Your site was one of many I pulled up in a cross-reference search. I am fascinated by the possibility.
thanks Martin for a clearly written and a very informative paper. I am a first year Ph.D. student in Education. I was looking for information on Albert Bandura and his philophical paradigm. I think he is a constructivist but I am still not sure about my arguments to support this position. Thanks for a good paper.
I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation on constructivism. I am a counseling psychology masters student, flirting with the idea of getting another MA in Applied Philosophy. I'm interested in broadening the base of my experience, possibly to wed new psychological and philosophical views to enhance the therapy process. Your article helped me add to my own construction and encouraged me to expand my exploration of these concepts by dialoguing with friends. I found the essay to be accessible and well referenced. Thanks for taking the time to engage in such an exercise!
I am happy that there are students like you. It is model how young people should study. Also is useful that other recognized it. For me it is autopoietic case study. My plan is to develop Global Autopoietic University where the best students will learn from each other, and specially from professors with best hearts and minds. Bravo Martin Dougiamas!
I am going through a credential program at Redlands University in California. I have found your paper and information to be quite useful in helping me to from my own opionin about the teaching philosophy I agree most with.
I am writing an argumentive research paper for compII on constructivism. I enjoyed reading your imput on the topic, it helped me to understand the concept of this idea. Thank You
Since much of your emphasis seems to be on mathematics, you might be interested in researching the Moore method of mathematics teaching. This was used by R.L. Moore at the University of Texas at Austin for around 40 years until he retired in 1965. I was a graduate student there in physics from 1966 to 1971 and met a number of students who had studied with Moore. His method essentially led students to construct the subject matter for themselves. Students were not to read the text in a class, or discuss how to prove theorems outside of the classroom. He would provide some axioms and definitions, and discuss what constituted a proof, then give some statements that students were expected to prove themselves. Through the course of a term the students would construct the course material for themselves. The American Mathematical Society use to have a film about Moore and his teaching, which produced a number of fine mathematicians.
Hello, I am a master's student in educational technology. FINALLY, someone makes a learning theory understandable...Keep on working, because I do not understand anything from the book provide for class....
Your paper is for me very interesting, finally it is your experience and about to share whit other is one way to learn. Six month ago I began to read the classics of the classic in constructivism, significant learning, cooperative and colaborative, and Howard Gardner, et al etc ... I am math and teach, every time the student came without any relation between the know and meaning, now that the news technnologics are in demographics populations in relationship ten years ago ... your take some point important to considerate in the education and in math to.
I forgot to tell you, I live in Zacatepec, Morelos State, México, but I born in Tegucigalpa Honduras. And Congratulations for your paper.
I really really luked your article as it gave me much needed insight into Constructivism. I am a teacher eDucator in University of delhi, India and plan to do Ph.D in Constructivism in Science education. can you guide em regarding what si latest going on in constructivism.eagerly waiting for reply..regards
Martin, Thank you so much for writing a high-interest, well informed paper at a level that can be enjoyed without being painful. I plan to cite your work for a class on curriculum in my classes at Indiana-University Purdue-University Indianapolis. Many thanks for your time and efforts! This work helped me to better understand constructivism and see how the ideologies at my school (Arsenal Technical High School) align with the constructivist approach.
I am studding Industrial Technology Management @ bemidji state university(BSU). I am working on a project,which one, social constractivisem or technological determinism, have the greatest impact in our society? Your essay was intresting but it didn't help me. Thank you.
I think that Your ideas is very good and uptodate to develop Consrtuctivism Approach in Teaching and Learning at Schools, specially in Mathematics Teaching and Learning at Schools in the World. I feel respectable to enjoy Your paper. Congratulations.Thank You. Most Sincerely,Aloysius Haryono
I am a technology trainer for Norman Glick Middle School in Modesto California and we are just finishing-up our first year of using Moodle. I must say I am impressed. From where the project was when we first started to where the project is now and the distance that we have actually brought our local teachers and students into the world of technology. In my time I have done and seen alot of things. I have trained and worked with some of the brightest minds that are today quite involved with the world of technology. I have trained others who have gone on to form companies who have been bought-out by Microsoft; trained techs who travel the globe for major corporations;trained techs for NASA; all from Santa Cruz High School in the 80's; and with all this I am still impressed with the commitment and involvement of those individuals who are building a better world through Moodle. I would love to some day meet you all just to say thank you, but I know that will probably never happen. Let's just say that you all have my utmost respect and gratitude. Old programmer/trainer.
I am a postgraduate student studying science education. I have been trying for sometime to understand the concept of 'social constructivism' without headways, but I was so excited to have come across your write-up on this subject-matter content which gives me an insight.Your ideas on are thought-provoking.
im 22 ,EFL teacher .thats a nice essay . i have some other articles on constructivism if anyone need help
I am a teacher in NYC and am finishing my master's degree. I will cite your website for a paper I am writing on regarding Learning Theories. Great overview! Curious what you are thinking now that it has been a few years? We were only researching individual and social construtivism. Your information was helpful.
I did enjoy reading this essay. At first, I had a hard time getting into it. I do appreciate what he is saying, and I really do feel inspired after reading it.
What a great intro. to constructivism! I confess - I was more interested in hearing how your talk went than reading your conclusions - if only because as you point out, knowing constructivism and 'KNOWING' constructivism are two different things, and I am at the beginning of my journey. Your metaphor helped me see a way I can begin to apply this theory to my present course (holistic approaches to information technology at OISE, U. of T.) and my present life (as a resource teacher for students with learning disabilities). Thank you!
Good stuff. It convinces me that we are on the right track with the development of our worldview construction and collaboration software. ref. http://www.telecommunity.info and http://www.webassistant.com.
I have just constructed my own understanding of constructivism :) This article makes sense - which is unusual coming from a man that designed software similar to a dog's name. But, hey, if it works, who worries what it is called!! You have done a great job. Thank you.
Great work, indeed! After a year's break (maternity leave) I'm back to study for my Master's in psychology. I had a class on social constructionism, I still have to write something about it and i've had no idea how to put it in simple words - your work is a great example. Your essay is a nice intro to a very diverse, many times difficult to understand and complex field of constructivsm. Greetings from Ljubljana, Slovenia
I'm an English teacher in Monterrey, Mexico. I found your article interesting, I'm sure it will help me. Thanks.
Hello, Martin: I'm writing a paper on how social constructivism can be taught to deaf students at a school in Asuncion, Paraguay. Your paper was very insightful. Thank you.
Hey Martin, Great article! I am a Grad student at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids MI. I found your article easy to understand and a great resource for the Grad paper I am writing for my Ed PSYCH class. Thanks agian.
I am researching the topic of constructivism as applied in ESL or EFL. You wrote an interesting and useful paper. Your personal notes call for a reflective approach.
I started a home study course with the‎ I am doing Open University, in child Development back on 5 Jan this has made the topic more clare for me. Thank you,sorry if spilling not to good,but had a long day at this can take me a longer time to get infow in my mind. I have Dyslexia ‎so ‎it is harder 4 me, but I love a Challenge! ‎Thanks again Martin.
My first semester of PhD Science Education just ended but I still have a seminar to complete. With the approval of my Professor I choose Constructivism for my topic. Your article, which I just browsed over will help me a lot since I noticed that you simplified it and gave a very good background of the topic. I'll still decide what title I'll give my paper. Thank you very much!
I find this article very valuable. As I was reading through the article, I thought about the learning process that goes along with the interactions of my co-students and comprehend how they themselves lear from one another through the sharing of their own interpretations independently from their backgrounds.I hope i express myself well, my best regards and thanks for sharing this article. firstname.lastname@example.org
I really liked reading through this article, because i have gained a lot from it in terms of improving my understanding of the idea of 'constructivism'. I wish I could always have access to such information about learning theories especially after failing to get to grips with this theory from lectures!
Dear Martin,In fact i am trying to know about constructivism,it was a pleasant sorprise to read your article.I could easily understood the conceptsince your presentation is simple to follow.please mail me such articles.
Dude, your essay sucks! You shouldn't say bad things about thailand, because i'm in your country right now and it's not so fascinating either..many things you guys do are stupid. Go watch team america!!!!
I am a student at psychology in Roskilde University in Denmark. Thank you for your essay it made me more interested in reading further on Social Constructivism and helped me to fromulate my presentation for my oral exam tomorrow. And again thanks :)
I was dying to find explanations on the philosophy on education "Constructivism" when i encountered your intellectual writings. I badly needed it for my oral defense for my doctors degree. I even add your writings in my favorite links. thanks alot
by the way, I am a student here in ED.D at the University of Mindanao, Davao City, Philippines. I will invite my classmates to read your writings.
Hi!I am from India.I am a PhD student.Whle searching for information on theories of learning I came across your essay.The style of writing is excellent. I found the essay very useful.
Hello! Thanks Martin, your journey to constructivism is truly an enlightenment. God bless!
sir,i i can say that reading your essay is absolutely not waste of tym.
i had a nice reflection as i opened my eyes for the reality of the real world
Hi Martin, I am researching this topic for graduate course at Soma,Amsterdam/Utrecht HVU in the Netherlands Your paper about 'A journey into Constructivism" is a tool to help me get clear what kind of learner I am. So your topic was very helpful.Thank you.
it is appreciatable.i m presenting a paper on constructivism in classrooms. ur paper will really be a helping hand in this process.it has provided an insight to me about constructivism.thank u.
Excellent.I have just started a module on Internet Environment sfor an MSc in Internet Systems and this is the best thing yet that I've read on Constructivism.
You are a genius! Keep it up. Your Jamaican admirer..
Martin Thank you very much for your work. The 2004 porgram for pre kinder and kindergarten is currently based on consturctivism for Mexico. So as a teacher I have been looking for information in order to understand what does it mean , how is it applied etc. Your work is a light on my way thanks again.
As student on the brink of starting my Bachelor thesis, I was looking for some kind of theoretical framework... I think this could be it! Thank you for putting your trip through knowledge here, to inspire others and to show your way to the truth... Facinating.... regards, John, Holland
Great essay!! I am in my last year of classes before student teaching. The University I am attending boasts using a constuctivist philosophy, yet, I know I am not alone when I say, "What do they mean by that?" Your essay has filled in the gaps left by the professors. Perhaps the fact that I constructed the meaning through research is the real key. Ahh! I get it. Thank you.
Hey there, Great Article--I loved reading how you evolved in your thinking. Are there any other professors/instructors out there who teach in a constructivist way (mostly socio/cultural) who find their students to be resistent to leaving the more familar transmission model of teaching/learning? Once they "get it" they never want to give up their power, however, the first two semesters they murder me with the student evaluations--I'm hoping there is help out here in cyberspace-- Please e-mail if you have advise
Thank you for your clear and nice presentation which helped me out from the morass of despair in trying to teach in an hour the meaning of constructivism. Your essey was a clarifying experence and allowed to create ties between different social and psychological approaches. Your examples allows a lot of discussion and analogies on differnt practical areas. I'm thinking the myths and how to make them visible in different professional practices.
An excellent article on the theory of constructivists.
i am writing my dissertation about constructivism in teaching college math. Your article is of great help. Thanks
"This is it!" were the words that came out of my mouth as I started reading your essay. I didn't have to spend hours in the net looking for the best reference for my research. thanks for making it easy for me. I truly enjoyed reading your essay, with your personal touch! More essays please! hehehe!!! KUDOS!!!
Very interesting and beautiful site. It is a lot of helpful information. Thanks!
great stuff! I am supposed to write a short dfn of 'constructivism'for our course to add to the shared glossary' Hooray for Google! I have consistently found it to be so much more accessible than specialist web sites
I read the article, which I found well and clearly written. I found the conclusion sensible: Some of the tenets of constructivism in pedagogical terms: Students come to class with an established world-view, formed by years of prior experience and learning. Even as it evolves, a student's world-view filters all experiences and affects their interpretation of observations. For students to change their world-view requires work. Students learn from each other as well as the teacher. Students learn better by doing. Allowing and creating opportunities for all to have a voice promotes the construction of new ideas. However, I dont need a theory of construction to arrive at these conclusions. The first four bullet points are blindingly obvious. The fifth point is generally accepted and the sixth point seems very logical. Thus I agre with what was written, but dont feel I have learned anything except a name of a theory, which is an unnecessary level of abstraction This is in my view an example of my general experience with sociology and pyschology - good sociology tells you what you already know - bad sociology is simply wrong Constructivism appears to be good sociology. My favourite quotation from Marx: "Many people have analysed the world. The point however is to change it" Am I missing something?
Thank you Martin. Your journey really help me a lot. First, when my lecturer ask me to look for this theory I never thought that many people using this theory because I now doing language study. I am trying to related this theory with my researh . could you help me. Thank you very much.
Your essay has helped me immensely - I've started an assignment which requires me to find out some info on constructivism and what you've written has been most helpful in my understanding of the concept. Many thanks, and I'll definitely credit your work in the assignment.
I am doing an elearning course based on ideas of constructionism. I have found your article interesting but quite difficult to understand although I think I do. I think as you say it is something that when you 'get it'you understand it and 'know' and then the advantages and positives can be seen in your enthusiasm and conviction.
Have you ever heard of the Reggio Approach that originated in schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy? I am a teacher at a preschool that is strongly influenced by this philosophical approach that provides a living model for social constructivist learning. I made this connection in grad school. I am now in the process of creating a charter school in Wisconsin that is based on social constructivist learning theory and I think it will be challenge to develop a constructivist curriculum while meeting local, state and national standards as measured by mandatory testing. This school will also have an emphasis on the arts and technology as learning tools. I may use your paper for presentations I will be making. Thanks
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Cheers Martin for an easy to follow eye opener to constructivism. Moodle forever!!
I am on the hunt for a topic for my PhD research thesis.I have found that the WEBQUEST approach used for online courses is deeply rooted in the costructivism theory. In otherwords, costructivism is the back up theory for the WEQUEST MODELE. I wonder if you could be of any assistance to me deciding on the topic since you are more acquainted with the literature on this theory. What is the end up of the thread that one can pick up? Putting in mind that research focuses on EFL/ESL teaching and learning.Thank You
Hi,Iam currently a student teacher at Auckland University New Zealand.I have an assignment based on the comparisons of behaviorism and social constructivism.could you help me with this
Martin, I am from Uganda. I was brousing through the constructivism theory and came across your paper. It is quite nice and easy to read and understand. I am a studnet at the University of Oslo, Norway and writing a thesis on mathematics. My guiding theory is Constructivism and focussing on scaffolding and ZDP as a taching strategy.
I´m a philosophy student from México, and I really enjoyed reading your Journey, it was very helpful to understand what the constructivism is. I didn´t have to search for more in the web. Thank´s a lot!!!
Iam a student in Brazil. Idecided to write about Piaget Theory for my pos-graduation paper, I wuant to write about the influence of constructivism in language teaching. I liked a lot your article, but can you help me?
Thank you so much for permitting us to read your paper. It is very informative. I am a high school ESL teacher in Puerto Rico. I am also a PhD student and I am trying to gather data on constructivism and language acquisition; it has been an ordeal for me because most of the data dates back to the 80's and 90's. It seems that not much research has been done in this area nowadays. If you have any useful sites I can go to, please let me know. I need the help, however, your information gives me a better perspective on constructivism. I think more research needs to be done on the constructivist approach and language learning. I will continue my search to see what data I can gather to build on for my study. Thanks again!
I am working on my Ph.D in adult education leadership. I have just finished a class assignment that consists of 75 pages. I thought it was ready to submit for grading. After stumbling onto your site, I will need to revisit my paper. I will cite, if anything needs to be referenced. Thanks for sharing. Excellent work.
Nice. I had a similar experience while learning form Constructivism for my III History Exam al uni. were you kind of dissappointed after having some expectations about the matter?
This is an indespensable resource when it comes to constructivism. Thank you for the wealth of ideas you have shared.
A fantastic site, and brilliant effort. A great piece of work.A
I thoroughly enjoyed this article on Constructivism mainly because I am trying to set up my 4th grade classroom based on the theories of constructivism. Also, I am going to be "observed" by my supervisor next week, so I hope I am prepared and ask the right questions that get my class involved. Thank you for a great article. Wish me luck! Thomas Banks
Thank you for the rather simple yet profound explanation of constructivism. As I read the article the layers of my understanding were peeling back as I reflected on and made connections with my own experiences and thoughts. I has inspired me to consider further study and conversation; for I have learned I am more reflective interacting with internet communications,but I am more constructive with eye to eye dialogue.
Hello, Thank you for your effort to help us by putting the idea in net. I am a student of mathematics education. The idea of constructivism is new for me. My teachers are teaching this idea. I got more about it when I read your page. Thanks, Karna
Hi, I'm doing my last year of my PhD in Education at Çukurova University of ADANA-TURKIYE. I am researching constructivist perspectives in writing. I am interested in any information on this topic. Can anyone help? More information on constructivism in writing??
Hi, I am a australian uni student,"struggling", attempting to conplete a maths essay on constructive learning in the classroom. Thanks for a simple breakdown to get me started!!!!!!! - Thats if I ever get it finished! Lyn
Good paper! I'm now learning about the constructivism. Thanks!
this is my first time to really do a research and i am very much interested in pursing the differences of teaching approach between a constructivist and objectivist method... as i browse your page, i find it helpful for my review of related literature... i'lldefinitely acknowledge you on my work. thanks
I found very interesting your article and I would like to know if you had more information about the different stages of constructivism in language classroom. And just a question. Can mind mapping be a part of constructivism?
I'm in my second semester of student teaching and we have been learning about constructivism for the past two semesters. Your page really opens my understanding of what constructivism is really trying to accomplish, and I enjoyed it immensely. Thank you!
its a quest to meet up with my assignment in a course i am taking with then united nations unioversity that made me come across this site. insructivism vs constructivism. i think that constructivism has done more good in terms of science & TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT IN RECENT TIMES AS CAN BE SEEN IN TODAYS WORLD OF DEVELPOMENT AS COMPARED WITH THE TRADITIONAL FORM OF CLASS ROOM INSTUCTION
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