Constructivism and constructionism are two learning theories. Constructivism, or the V word, has to do with the schematics of learning. When we learn, our mind groups similar ideas together based on previous knowledge (Laureate Education Inc., 2011). Constructionism, or the N word, uses building or creating as a vehicle for meaningful learning (Laureate Education Inc., 2011).
There are many ways to use these learning theories in the classroom. Two ways are through generating and testing hypothesis, and creating project based lessons. When students generate hypothesis with careful reasoning it gives proof that students are critically thinking (Pitler, Hubbell, & Kuhn, 2012). Creating hypothesis takes previously learned knowledge and uses it to inductively reason. This is an example of constructivism. Students can test and chart their findings compared to the hypothesis and present it in a digital way; this is example of constructionism. There are so many ways to incorporate technology when generating and testing hypothesis. Excel spreadsheets, phone apps, and simulation software can be useful tools (Pitler el at., 2012). Project based learning is closely tied to problem based learning. When a real world problem is introduced to students they must use higher level thinking skills to solve this problem (Orey, 2001). These lessons are tied to large-scale projects that often culminate in a presentation of student findings. Project based learning is an example of constructionism. When solving a big-picture problem, there are many smaller problems that must be figured out. The student guides the learning activities. This quest of knowledge results in meaningful learning opportunities.
Throughout the week, I thought of the proverb “Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand”. I believe the proverb sums up the idea of constructionism.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2011). Program seven: Constructionist and constructivist learning theories [Video webcast]. Bridging learning theory, instruction and technology. Retrieved from http://laureate.ecollege.com/ec/crs/default.learn?CourseID=5700267&CPURL=laureate.ecollege.com&Survey=1&47=2594577&ClientNodeID=984650&coursenav=0&bhcp=1
Orey, M. (Ed.). (2001). Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Main_Page
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E. R., & Kuhn, M. (2012). Using technology with classroom instruction that works (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.