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Understanding Constructivism

Feelosofi – Constructivism is an educational theory that has historical roots in psychology and philosophy. Basically, constructivism proposes that individuals build their knowledge through an active process of dealing with experience and information. This concept emphasizes that learning is more effective when individuals are directly involved in the construction of their own knowledge, rather than passively receiving knowledge from outside sources.

Constructivist thinkers believe that each individual has a unique frame of mind that influences how they interpret and process new information.

Therefore, education that focuses on constructivism promotes problem-based learning, discussion, and direct experience, which allows students to build deeper and more relevant understanding according to the context. With this approach, learning becomes more meaningful and sustainable for students because they are actively involved in the process of constructing their own knowledge.

History Of The Development Of Constructivism

The historical development of constructivism as an educational theory involves a number of key thinkers and important events. Its roots can be traced to the thinking of philosophers such as Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, and Jerome Bruner in the 20th century. Jean Piaget developed a theory of child cognitive development, which emphasizes the stages of intellectual development and how children actively construct their own understanding through interactions with the environment.

Lev Vygotsky, on the other hand, brought significant contributions by focusing on the role of culture and society in the formation of knowledge. Vygotsky emphasized the importance of social interaction, collaboration, and the zone of proximal development, namely the distance between what children can do on their own and what they can achieve with the help of adults or peers.

Apart from that, Jerome Bruner also played an important role in the history of constructivism with the concept of the spiral curriculum, which emphasized the importance of teaching complex concepts repeatedly with different levels of depth as students’ cognitive growth.

Over the past several decades, constructivist theory has become the basis for student-centered education, promoting active learning, exploration, and problem solving. This approach has also influenced modern curriculum design and teaching methods, creating learning environments that are more oriented towards deep understanding and the development of students’ critical thinking. The historical development of constructivism reflects ongoing efforts to understand how humans learn and encourage more effective and relevant educational approaches.

Types Of Constructivism

Constructivism is a broad framework of thought, and there are several main types in education and psychology. First, there is Cognitive Constructivism, established by Jean Piaget, which views learning as a process in which individuals construct their own knowledge through different stages of cognitive development. Next, there is Social Constructivism by Lev Vygotsky which emphasizes the important role of social and cultural interactions in the learning process. This thinking created concepts such as the Zone of Proximal Development, where individuals can reach their potential through the help of others.

Apart from that, there is Radical Constructivism, promoted by figures such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau and John Dewey, which emphasizes that effective learning occurs through direct experience and reflection, by allowing students to be actively involved in constructing their knowledge. Additionally, Linguistic Constructivism, inspired by Lev Vygotsky, underscores the role of language in learning and how individuals construct knowledge through language.

In its development, constructivism has created various practical approaches in education, such as Problem Based Learning, Social Constructivism in collaborative teaching, and Cognitive Constructivism in curriculum development. Understanding these types of constructivism helps educators and psychologists design learning approaches that suit students’ needs and desired educational goals.

Figures Of Constructivism

Figures in the world of constructivism have a central role in the development and dissemination of this theory. One of the most influential figures is Jean Piaget, a Swiss psychologist, who developed Cognitive Constructivism. Piaget emphasized the importance of the stages of cognitive development in the learning process, where children actively build their knowledge through exploration and interaction with their environment. Piaget’s contributions influenced teaching methods and curriculum development throughout the world.

Lev Vygotsky is another figure who has had a significant influence in the world of constructivism. Known as Social Constructivism, Vygotsky emphasized the role of the social environment in individual development. His concept of the Zone of Proximal Development and the role of adults in guiding students became the foundation for an educational approach centered on interaction and collaboration.

Jerome Bruner, an American psychologist and educator, introduced Cognitive Constructivism. He developed the spiral curriculum concept which emphasizes teaching based on understanding and increasing levels of difficulty along with students’ cognitive development. This approach has influenced curriculum development in various countries.

With their respective thoughts and contributions, these constructivist figures have formed the basis for an educational approach that is more student-focused, active and reflective. Understanding their thinking plays an important role in directing the development of education that is more effective and relevant for today’s generation.


In conclusion, constructivism is an educational theory that underlines the active role of individuals in learning and knowledge development. Through interactions with the environment, personal experiences, and culture and society, individuals build their own understanding. Figures such as Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, and Jerome Bruner have made significant contributions to the development of various types of constructivism, each of which emphasizes important aspects of learning.

With this approach, education focuses on the student, promoting problem-based learning, collaboration, and problem solving. The main conclusion is that constructivism has had a significant impact in the development of more effective and relevant education, allowing students to understand the world in a deeper and more meaningful way according to their development and needs.


What Is Constructivism In An Educational Context?

Constructivism is a framework of thought in education that emphasizes the active role of individuals in constructing their own knowledge through interaction with the environment and personal experience.

What Is The Difference Between Cognitive Constructivism And Social Constructivism?

Cognitive Constructivism, as developed by Jean Piaget, focuses on the stages of an individual’s cognitive development. Social Constructivism, proposed by Lev Vygotsky, emphasizes the role of social and cultural interactions in learning.

How Does The Concept Of The Zone Of Proximal Development Relate To Constructivism?

Cognitive Constructivism, as developed by Jean Piaget, focuses on the stages of an individual’s cognitive development. Social Constructivism, proposed by Lev Vygotsky, emphasizes the role of social and cultural interactions in learning.

What Is The Influence Of Constructivism In Teaching Methods?

Constructivism has inspired more student-focused teaching methods, such as problem-based learning, collaborative approaches, and the use of hands-on experiences to build understanding.

What Are The Main Benefits Of A Constructivist Approach To Education?

The constructivist approach provides benefits in the form of deeper understanding, critical thinking skills, and more meaningful learning for students, because they are actively involved in constructing their own knowledge according to the context.


  • “ The Construction of Reality in the Child ” by Jean Piaget (1937)
  • “ Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes ” by Lev Vygotsky (1978)
  • “ Acts of Meaning: Four Lectures on Mind and Culture ” by Jerome Bruner (1990)
  • “ Constructivist Instruction: Success or Failure? ” by Ernst von Glasersfeld (1992)
  • “ Educational Psychology: A Constructivist Approach ” by Jeanne Ellis Ormrod (1999)

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Raymond Kelvin Nando, "Constructivism," Feelosofi, 1 November 2023,
Raymond Kelvin Nando
Writer, Researcher, & Philosophy Enthusiast