[IAEP] Concise explanation of Constructionism from the Learning Team

Kevin Cole kevin.cole at gallaudet.edu
Fri Aug 15 14:45:29 EDT 2008

On Fri, Aug 15, 2008 at 2:15 PM, Seth Woodworth <seth at laptop.org> wrote:

> Inspired by Sameer's recent conversations with a pair of Montessori
> Kindergarden teachers.  I went to talk to Cynthia Solomon of the OLPC
> Learning team.  We got to talking about the theory of Activities and a few
> other topics.  Eventually she showed me this snippit from the Media Lab's
> Future of Learning Group: Constructionism
> We are developing "Constructionism" as a theory of learning and education.
> Constructionism is based on two different senses of "construction." It is
> grounded in the idea that people learn by actively constructing new
> knowledge, rather than having information "poured" into their heads.
> Moreover, constructionism asserts that people learn with particular
> effectiveness when they are engaged in constructing personally meaningful
> artifacts (such as computer programs, animations, or robots).
> http://learning.media.mit.edu/projects.html
> I thought that this explanation was concise and really interesting.  I
> would love to explain this to people who want to design activities, just to
> give them a little snapshot of the concept.  Does anyone have a problem with
> this definition? Does anyone have an improvement?
Me likey!  I'm not in the classroom, nor well-versed in academic jargon, but
that captures the spirit of what I gleaned from my first encounter with the
word here on these lists.  It also syncs well with how I think I came to
love working with computers in educational settings.  That, and as you've
mentioned: concise.
". ! 1 |" -- Rene Magritte's computer
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