What is constructivism?

We explain to you what constructivism is and who founded this pedagogical school. In addition, their differences with the traditional model.

  1. What is constructivism?

school of pedagogy is called constructivism  based on the principles of the constructivist theory of knowledge , that is, on the understanding of teaching as a dynamic, participatory task, in which the student is given the tools to develop for himself the resolutions to the problems that are presented.

The founder of this constructivist trend is the German philosopher and pedagogue Ernst von Glasersfeld , who argued the impossibility of “transmitting” knowledge, as is traditionally thought, advocating rather the “viability” of information, that is, to lead that he learns so that he himself reaches the answer. This is where action-oriented education is born.

Constructivism is based, at the same time, on the studies of Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky, who were interested in the construction of knowledge from the interaction with the environment, and in the internal construction of knowledge thanks to the social environment, respectively . Similarly, there is the approach of Albert Bandura and Walter Mischel, who proposed cognitive and social learning.

All these approaches, together with the postulates of behavioral psychology (conductivsmo), allowed the renewal of the teaching paradigms of the time, which allowed great criticism of the education system as a whole.

  1. Differences with the traditional model

Constructivist pedagogy allows us to assume an active role in the understanding of knowledge.

Instead of standing in front of everyone to recite a class, as is more traditional, the teacher who uses constructivist pedagogy proposes his method as the group’s leadership towards tools (mental, conceptual, physical) that allow him to assume an active role in understanding and knowledge acquisition . This is: that knowledge cannot be transmitted from the teacher to the student, but must be “built” of its own accord, and the teacher’s role is to propitiate the conditions for this to happen.

This constructivist teaching exercise revolves around three different ideas:

  • The student is responsible for their own learning , not just the teacher. Therefore, it has a much more active assigned role than in other pedagogies.
  • The contents to be imparted do not come from nothing, but are the result of a previous series of elaborations at the social level.
  • Teachers or facilitators must not only build the stage for the encounter with knowledge to occur, but they must also direct said learning activity towards a rich and diverse mental activity.

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