constructionism/

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Constructionism is a learning theory supported by Seymour Papert of the MIT Media Lab that supports the philosophy that learners "construct knowledge structures" and that they learn best by "doing and making". Constructionism is further defined as often being collaborative, guided, and public or shared. Papert would contend that Constructionism is fostered through the use of tools such as media and technology (computers). Constructionism is built upon the learning theory of Constructivism supported by Jean Piaget, Vygotsky, and others. Seymour Papert studied with Jean Piaget for many years.


Like Constructivism, Constructionism encourages exploration and discovery. Both theories place the teacher in the role of guide or facilitator. Constructivists would say that learners create mental models of their ideas and knowledge. Constructionists would say that learners create artifacts that reflect their mental models of the learning and share them publicly to be reviewed, commented upon, etc.

An example of a Constructionist knowledge structure would be a wiki. A wiki is collaboratively written and edited--often reviewed by peers. It is guided by the instructor. The learner uses a technological tool to create and edit it. It is a public document in the sense that it is on the internet or inside a course to be read, edited, shared and revised by all.

Seymour Papert is best known for his work with the MIT AI Lab, his LOGO programming, and the books and articles he authored, including: The Children's Machine: Rethinking School in the Age of the Computer, and Mindstorms: Children, Computers and Powerful Ideas.

See Also:

Philosophy

Pedagogy