Foundations of Constructivism/Introduction

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Welcome to "Principles of Constructivism." This wikibook is a collaborative project and resource for a Webster University graduate course with the same title. The course is an introduction to constructivist theories and their applications to curriculum and instruction. The course employs collaborative processes and learning community-based web technologies (i.e. Web 2.0 tools) so that students learn about constructivism by experiencing constructivist methodologies and technologies used in this course. Participants build their knowledge and skills about constructivist theory and practice through collaborative writing and curriculum building using new interactive web technologies.

Course Description[edit | edit source]

Students in this course explore the history, theory and educational applications of constructivism. The course employs collaborative processes and learning community-based web technologies: Participants have direct experience learning about constructivism by doing and participating in the constructivist methodologies used in this course.

Learning Outcomes[edit | edit source]

  • Participants in this course will be able to:
    • Demonstrate a working knowledge of the key principles of constructivism and constructivist theories
    • Author original articles that describe constructivist theories and their applications in the classroom
    • Adopt strategies to promote active student learning and questioning.
    • Design lessons that involve constructivist principles such as collaboration, student-centered learnng, authentic (real-world) problems and other creative thinking processes
    • Design pupil assessment strategies consistent with constructivist learning processes

Innovative[edit | edit source]

This course is innovative in several ways:

  1. The online component enables students from any geographic location to participate in the course without the need to visit a Webster University Classroom.
  2. The course uses constructivist and collaborative methodologies. The constructivist approach involves a philosophy of learning in which learners builds their knowledge on the basis of authentic (real-world) experiences and dialogue, debate, or collaboration with others. (Brown and King, 2000)
  3. The effectiveness of the constructivist pedagogy versus objectivist pedagogies has been debated for centuries. However, current theory and research in learning indicate that all learning involves a self-constructing process. (Bransford, et al., 2000; Poole, 2000; Scardamalia and Bereiter, 1994)
  4. The new Web 2.0 internet tools such as blogs, wikis and social networking now make constructivist, collaborative and authentic learning more practical, because these tools are structured and organized for open development of knowledge as well as open dialogue, debate and discussion.
  5. The course is about constructivism, and has been designed to be taught using instructional techniques and technologies (such as blogs and wikis) that support the constructivist philosophy and pedagogy.
  6. No textbook reading is required. Instead students in this course will collaboratively research, author and edit a textbook on "Principles of Constructivism."

References[edit | edit source]

Bransford, J. et al. (2000). How people learn. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Available at:[1]

Brown, S. W. and King, F. B. (2000) Constructivist Pedagogy and How We Learn: Educational Psychology Meets International Studies, International Studies Perspectives, 1, (3, December) 245-253

Poole, D. M. (2000) An Email Activity: Preservice Teachers’ Perception of Authenticity. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education 8, (1) 13–28.

Scardamalia, M., and C. Bereiter (1994) Computer Support for Knowledge-Building Communities. Journal of the Learning Sciences 3, (3):265–283.