About Constructivism Priya Ramakrishnan Academic Head- Glentree Academy Schools

About Constructivism

The current state of knowledge is a moment in History changing just as rapidly as the state of knowledge’ J.Petty.Learning is a continuous, active phenomenon wherein learners engage by observing their surroundings, manipulating various objects around them and form mental models based on self-enquiry, experiences and conversations, comparing them with previous knowledge. (Dewey, 1938; Vygotsky, 1986).


‘The Neuron Doctrine’ put forth by the biologist Cajal, along with efficient works by Golgi, tells us that, neurons, axons and dendrites in the Human Brain are involved in cognitive learning. The intricate ‘wiring’ formed by the neurons and axons through synapses (Sir Charles Sherrington, 1891)  form neural connections that transfer content in working memory to long term memory. It has led to the discovery that hands-on-activities, experiments, demonstrations and audio visual media lead to constant revisiting to one’s learning which in turn helps in this transference. When learners involve in the activities, they analyse and synthesise (Bloom, 1956) hence establishing functional neural interconnections that lead to long term memory. (Eric Kandel, 2000) 


Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears, and never regrets. ‘Leonardo Da Vinci.’ It is inevitable that our learners constantly invent, discover and construct their information (Piaget, 1936). Constructivism is that theory of observation and scientific skill that encourages learners to constantly question themselves and assess every activity they perform helping them to understand how to learn, thereby transforming every student into an "expert learners"(Piaget 1936). By following the Kolb’s cycle (Kolb,1984) to synthesise and construct their own knowledge, in their respective spaces in the learning environment, teachers can become the ‘Brain Changer’ as envisaged by David A. Sousa.

 

By

Priya Ramakrishnan
Academic Head- Glentree Academy Schools