Essay Examples on University of Portland

The constructivist learning theory has been around for around 50 years

It basically describes how students construct their own explanation of the world that they live in through different experiences where they build off of their own previous knowledge in a manner where students are presented with a problem or a big idea and they use prior knowledge combined with the experience of solving the problem or reflecting on the big idea in order to build new understanding and deeper levels of understanding when it comes to content Ultimately all of the learning theories have the same goal to promote learning In 1991 Thomas Shuell provided a definition of learning that stated Learning is an enduring change in behavior or in the capacity to behave in a given fashion which results from practice or other forms of experience Ertmer Newby 1993 The way that constructivist learning takes place is primarily through engaging in experiences that build upon previous knowledge Constructivist theorist describe knowledge about the world as our own interpretations of our experiences and that humans create meaning as opposed to acquiring it and that learners do not transfer knowledge from the external world into their memories rather they build personal interpretations of the world based on individual experiences and interactions Ertmer Newby 1993 This means that students learn or as Shuell described change behavior by changing their own interpretations of the world through engaging in experiences that create new meaning This idea of creating meaning is what separates the constructivist learning theory from behaviorism or cognitivism learning theories 

2 pages | 490 words