Characteristics of a Constructivist Approach

Characteristics of a Constructivist Approach
1. Learners construct their own knowledge beginning with what they already
know, exploring what needs to be known next and determining the quality
and effectiveness of their pursuit through authentic assessment and
2. All learning begins in doubt about the validity of an idea. The goal of doubt
is the restoration of belief. (Pierce, James).
3. Learning takes place in the personal zone of cognitive development between
what is already known, what is not known and what is desired to be known
4. Learning is achieved best through a socially interactive process (Dewey,
5. Learning is best achieved when the undertaking is consistent with the stages
of human development (Rousseau, Piaget).
6. Learning is an experience based process of inquiring, discovering, exploring,
doing and undergoing (Dewey).
7. The process of coming to know is neither random nor eclectic, it has
(Bruner, Bloom).
8. Learning proceeds in spiraling fashion including laddering, scaffolding,
weaving, and dialogism (Bruner, Rogoff).
9. Cognitive development occurs in a socio-cultural context – the social milieu of
individual achievement and the interaction between the learner and adults as
well as his/her peers in culturally valued activities. (Riordan – Karlsson,
10 The interactive process in coming to know needs to be guided by structured
cognitive and affective taxonomies (Bloom, Krathwohl).
Compiled by
Lawrence P. Creedon

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