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Constructivist Theories of Learning

I.O.U. — This page will be developed later.  For now, some basics are below, and you'll see more when you click the links.


Constructivism and Transfer:  How People Learn` (pages 68, 236) explains that because "people learn by using what they know to construct new understandings,... all learning involves transfer that is based on previous experiences and prior knowledge... [so] effective teachers attempt to support positive transfer by actively identifying the strengths that students bring to a learning situation and building on them, thereby building bridges between students’ knowledge and the learning objectives set out by the teacher" and adopts a broad view of transfer, suggesting that we "consider how learning affects subsequent learning, such as increased speed [and quantity & quality] of learning in a new domain."  When teaching any idea or skill a teacher should try to understand the prior knowledge of students, and build on this foundation, consistent with constructivist theories of learning & teaching.  This approach is especially valuable in teaching that intentionally uses spiral repetitions, as in a wide spiral curriculum with careful analysis-and-planning to achieve a Goal-Directed Coordinating of Activities.


Avoiding a Misconception:  As explained in a page about Maximizing the Benefits of Eclectic Instruction, "mental construction requires mental activity, which does not require physical activity," so the range of constructivist learning is wider than is sometimes implied.