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For a general intro to constructivism click: Overview of constructivism.
Overview of Social Constructivism Another cognitive psychologist, Lev Vygotsky (http://www.ced.appstate.edu/vybio.html), shared many of Piaget's (http://education.indiana.edu/~cep/courses/p540/vygosc.html) assumptions about how children learn, but he placed more emphasis on the social context of learning. Piaget's cognitive theories have been used as the foundation for discovery learning (http://126.96.36.199/INST5931/Discovery_Learning.html#dl) models in which the teacher plays a limited role. In Vygotsky's theories both teachers and older or more experienced children play very important roles in learning. There is a great deal of overlap between cognitive constructivism and Vygotsky's social constructivist theory. However, Vygotsky's constructivist theory, which is often called social constructivism, has much more room for an active, involved teacher. For Vygotsky the culture gives the child the cognitive tools needed for development. The type and quality of those tools determines, to a much greater extent than they do in Piaget's theory, the pattern and rate of development. Adults such as parents and teachers are conduits for the tools of the culture, including language. The tools the culture provides a child include cultural history, social context, and language. Today they also include electronic forms of information access. Although Vygotsky died at the age of 38 in 1934, most of his publications did not appear in English until after 1960. There are, however, a growing number of applications of social constructivism in the area of educational technology. One such use was described by Martin (1992). We call Vygotsky's brand of constructivism social constructivism because he emphasized the critical importance of culture and the importance of the social context for cognitive development. Vygotsky's the zone of proximal development is probably his best-known concept. It argues that students can, with help from adults or children who are more advanced, master concepts and ideas that they cannot understand on their own. There are thousands of books, articles, and papers on the theories of Vygotsky and the implications of those theories for teaching and learning. This brief summary cannot do the theory justice, but if you would like to explore Vygotsky's basic ideas more thoroughly, the links below are all rich sources of information: Overview of Lev Vygotsky's Theory (http://education.indiana.edu/~cep/courses/p540/vygosc.html) Lev Vygotsky (http://education.indiana.edu/~cep/courses/p540/vygotsky.html) Vygotsky's Social Development Theory (http://www.lincoln.ac.nz/educ/tip/51.htm) Review and Analysis of Vygotsky's Thought and Language (http://188.8.131.52/inst5931/Vygotsky.html) Vygotsky Analyzes Piaget's Developmental Theory
The Zone of Proximal Development can serve as a guide for curricular and lesson planning. and professionals in communities far from their classroom.html) The Mind Of Man: Models of Human Understanding (http://129. however. and debate . collaborative activity.interactivity that leads to the social construction of meaning. All classrooms in which instructional strategies compatible with Vygotsky's social constructivist approach are used don't necessarily look alike. Students can write for real audiences who respond instantly and who participate in a collective writing activity. Below are a few examples of the way information technology can support social constructivist teaching and learning: Telecommunications tools such as e-mail and the Internet provide a means for dialogue.2013.edu/~ichen/ebook/et-it/social. Simulations can make learning meaningful by situating something to be learned in the context of a "real world" activity such as running a nuclear power plant. 3. and challenges that are rooted in real life situations that are both interesting to the students and satisfying in terms of the result of their work. teachers. The activities and the format can vary considerably. adventures.160. Students can talk with other students. Telecommunications tools can also provide students access to many different types of information resources that help them understand both their culture and the culture of others.". However. Types of Instruction of Social Constructivism Technology provides essential tools with which to accomplish the goals of a social constructivist classroom. may encourage them to work in groups to think about issues and questions. the teacher may often guide students as they approach problems. Instead. and watch children explore and discover.Social Constructivist Theories (http://129. Learning and development is a social.7. Networked writing programs provides a unique platform for collaborative writing. 2. School learning should occur in a meaningful context and not be separated from learning and knowledge children develop in the "real world.html) General Implications of Social Constructivism If Vygotsky is correct and children develop in social or group settings. 4. four principles are applied in any Vygotskian classroom.7. or dealing with the pollution problems of local waterways Examples of Social Constructivist Classroom Activities http://viking. and support them with encouragement and advice as they tackle problems.7.coe. 1.htm[6.uh. The teacher does not simply stand by.160. writing up "breaking" stories for a newspaper. Out-of-school experiences should be related to the child's school experience. Teachers thus facilitate cognitive growth and learning as do peers and other members of the child's community. 20:04:55] .115/inst5931/Vygotsky_Analyzes_Piaget. A constructivist teacher creates a context for learning in which students can become engaged in interesting activities that encourages and facilitates learning. the use of technology to connect rather than separate students from one another would be very appropriate use. discussion.115/inst5931/mndofman.
2013. the socio-cultural constructivist locates the mind in the individual-in-social action. Simulations.indiana. Centralized and autocratic. then. In the last few years. where open-ended environments provided individual students with tools to experiment and build their own learning constructs. With the onslaught of personal computers came the popularity of constructivist approaches to educational technology. Problem-Solving Additional Information Social Constructivism In contrast to the individual-cognitive constructivist. Case-Based Instruction.Social Constructivist Theories Reading/ Writing Workshop Whole Language Situated Learning Collaborative Learning Anchored Instruction Games.7. Learning.html#SC PC is to Piaget as WWW is to Vygotsky The author of this on-line article makes an interesting comparison: The development of educational pedagogy has interesting parallels with the development of personal computer technology.iconceptual. 20:04:55] .coe. the social aspects of learning as described by Vygotsky have become useful for those looking to design educational projects involving a distributed but intercommunicating audience.edu/~ichen/ebook/et-it/social.com/Siggraph. URL: http://education. in the public schools.html Instructional Design Perspectives on Mathematics Education with Reference to Vygotsky's Theory of Social Cognition http://viking. is primarily a process of enculturation into a community of practice. mainframe technology (and.htm[6.uh. URL: http://www. as the internet and World Wide Web have matured. similarly designed Integrated Learning Systems) distributed a CAI (computer-assisted instruction) approach to education which was strictly content-based and driven by behavioral objectives.edu/~cep/courses/p540/semcons/semcons_overview.
gesturing. The authors do this in a somewhat eclectic fashion.cudenver.Social Constructivist Theories The purpose of this web page is to offer some perspectives on mathematics education from an instructional design viewpoint. URL: http://www. Alternative philosophies of mind.massey. URL: http://www. URL: http://ouray. as well as for instructional design generally.nz/~ALock/virtual/wittvyg.coe. 20:04:55] . beginning with an overview of the ideological "paradigm wars" within the instructional design community. as well as offering a contrast to the Piagetian approach.html The role of culture in Vygotskyean-informed psychology This web page is a source of the main thrust of Vygotsky's general developmental framework.htm Return to Homepage http://viking.ac.edu/~jlteslow/mathed.2013. including Vygotsky's emphasis on the social origins of cognition.uh.edu/~ichen/ebook/et-it/social. showing.7.htm[6.htm Talk of saying. and feeling in Wittgenstein and Vygotsky This on-line article is a "reading" of Vygotsky's central notions through the work of Wittgenstein. have implications for the teaching of mathematics. The authors conclude with some recommendations for the instructional design of mathematics education curricula that are consistent with a Vygotskian framework.massey.nz/~ALock/virtual/colevyg.ac.
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