[<< wikibooks] Educational Technology Innovation and Impact/Why use Technology in Education/Constructivism
== Constructivism ==
The theory of constructivism in learning is to believe that knowledge is not provided from teacher to student where it remains unaltered, but that learning is an active process of recreating and developing knowledge, and that through constructivism, emphasis is placed on the role of learning activities.
One strand of constructivism can be traced to John Dewey who emphasised the place of experience in education. Another from the work of Piaget, who demonstrated empirically that children’s minds were not empty, but actively processed the material with which they were presented, and claimed that through the process of accommodation and assimilation, people will construct new knowledge from their experiences. (Atherton, 2005)
Looking at Piaget’s descriptions of how the constructivism process works, accommodation, where a person reframes the mental representation of the external world to fit new experiences, can be understood as the mechanism by which failure leads to learning. When people act on the expectation that the world operates in one way and it violates their expectations, they will often fail. By accommodating this new experience and reframing the way the world works, they learn from the experience of failure. Likewise, assimilation would occur when the person’s experiences is aligned with their internal representation of the world and they assimilate the new experience into an already existing framework (Wikipedia, 2006)
The theory of constructivism suggests that students construct knowledge. Constructivism as a description of human cognition is often confused with educational approaches that promote learning by doing.
Most approaches that have grown from constructivism suggest that learning is accomplished best using a hands-on approach, and that students learn by experimentation, and not by reproducing the expected outcome. They are left to make their own inferences and discoveries and then draw their own conclusions away from the influences of recognised theory. It goes on to emphasise that learning is not an "all or nothing" process but that students learn new information presented to them by building upon knowledge that they already possess. It is therefore important that there is constant assessment of knowledge attained. In a learning environment teachers find that since the students build upon already existing knowledge, when called upon to retrieve new information, they may make errors known as reconstruction error. This is when gaps of our understanding are filled with logical, though incorrect, information. Teachers need to detect and try to correct these errors, though it is inevitable that some reconstruction error will continue to occur because of our innate retrieval limitations, however this also contributes to constructivism.
Word Count: 420

References:
ATHERTON J S (2005) Learning and Teaching:  Constructivism in learning   [On-line] UK: 
Available: http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/constructivism.htm  
Accessed: 8 April 2006
Wikipedia (2006) Constructivism: Learning Theory  [On-line] UK: 
Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructivism_%28learning_theory%29
Accessed: 7 April 2006
Bibliography:
Dalgarno B (1996) Constructivist Computer Assisted Learning: Theory and Techniques [On-line] 
Available:http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/adelaide96/papers/21.html
Accessed 7 April 2006
Phillips D (1995)The Good, The bad, the Ugly – the many faces of Constructivism [On-line]
Available: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0013-189X%28199510%2924%3A7%3C5%3ATGTBAT%3E2.0.CO%3B2-7&size=LARGE
Accessed 8 April 2006
Ben-Ari M (1996) Constructivism in Computer Science Education [On-line]
Available:  http://folk.uio.no/christho/inf3240/downloads/BenAri_Constructivism.pdf
Accessed 8 April 2006
Perkins D (1991) What Constructivism demands of the learner [On-line]
Available: http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=133161&dl=ACM&coll=portal
Accessed 9 April 2006
Wikebooks (2006) Constructivist Theories in Education [On-line]
Available:http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Constructivist_Theories_in_Education
Accessed 7 April 2006


== References & Bibligraphy ==
References:
ATHERTON J S (2005) Learning and Teaching:  Constructivism in learning   [On-line] UK: 
Available: http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/constructivism.htm  
Accessed: 8 April 2006
Wikipedia (2006) Constructivism: Learning Theory  [On-line] UK: 
Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constructivism_%28learning_theory%29
Accessed: 7 April 2006
Bibliography
Dalgarno B (1996) Constructivist Computer Assisted Learning: Theory and Techniques [On-line] 
Available:http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/adelaide96/papers/21.html
Accessed 7 April 2006
Phillips D (1995)The Good, The bad, the Ugly – the many faces of Constructivism [On-line]
Available:http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0013-189X%28199510%2924%3A7%3C5%3ATGTBAT%3E2.0.CO%3B2-7&size=LARGE
Accessed 8 April 2006
Ben-Ari M (1996) Constructivism in Computer Science Education [On-line]
Available:  http://folk.uio.no/christho/inf3240/downloads/BenAri_Constructivism.pdf
Accessed 8 April 2006
Perkins D (1991) What Constructivism demands of the learner [On-line]
Available: http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=133161&dl=ACM&coll=portal
Accessed 9 April 2006
Wikebooks (2006) Constructivist Theories in Education [On-line]
Available:http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Constructivist_Theories_in_Education
Accessed 7 April 2006