[IAEP] Concise explanation of Constructionism from the Learning Team

Costello, Rob R Costello.Rob.R at edumail.vic.gov.au
Fri Aug 15 18:51:46 EDT 2008

Yes I think simple thumbnail definitions like this help


The first half: "people learn by actively constructing new knowledge,
rather than having information "poured" into their heads" is what a lot
of educators would understand by 'constructivism'


Contructionism seems to be Papert's refinement - and a less well known
term -suggesting this happens most readily when engaged in 'constructing
personally meaningful artifacts'  (eg Logo projects)


Even bared down like this though, these terms sound a bit theoretical -
I'd suggest having another level of more emotive terms /slogans 


(in the style of "doing with images makes symbols" )




a. We all make our own knowledge 

b. We learn best by doing

c. We need mentoring in supportive environments 


I added (c) since the first two are powerful statements, but only one
side of learning, as critics will be quick to point out....(most aren't
going to sit down and productively learn by doing without some source of
example and instruction)


I used 'environments', rather than peers/teachers etc, as i think
mentoring can come via books and tutorials, activities and scaffolds as
well as more direct human instruction 









From: iaep-bounces at lists.sugarlabs.org
[mailto:iaep-bounces at lists.sugarlabs.org] On Behalf Of Seth Woodworth
Sent: Saturday, 16 August 2008 4:15 AM
To: Education; Educators and OLPC; Grassroots OLPC
Subject: [IAEP] Concise explanation of Constructionism from the Learning


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:



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).



I thought that this explination was concise and really interesting.  I
would love to explain this to people who want to desige activities, just
to give them a little snapshot of the concept.  Does anyone have a
problem with this deffinition? Does anyone have an improvement?



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