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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.
Like Constructivism, Constructionism encourages exploration and discovery. Both theories place the teacherin the role of guide or facilitator. Constructivists would say that learners build mental models of their ideas and information. Constructionists would say that learners create artifacts that reflect their learning.
An example of a Constructionist knowledge structure would be a wiki. A wiki is collaboratively written and edited. Often peers review their own work. It is guided by the instructor. The learner uses technology as a tool to create and edit it. It is a public document in the sense that it is on the internet or inside a course and is shared, read, edited, revised by all.
Seymour Papert is best known for his work with the MIT AI Lab, his LOGO programming, and the many 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