Social Constructivism

SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVISM

Learning theories are the basis of what guides teachers in the ways they teach and helps define their pedagogies. This theory specifically is described by Howell (2012) to be a useful conceptualization that values ICTs in classrooms. The graphic organiser picture below is a succinct way of depicting social constructivism.

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* Image: Normmazlin – Word press blog

Social constructivism is one of the main underlying theories that influences teaching especially in regards to the technology aspect of a classroom. Technology is more then just a learning tool; it affects the engagement levels received by students, assists with understanding and communication. Social constructivism approach is one that aligns with valuing student interaction, collaboration, being student centered and developing the learning that occurs (Howell 2012).

Teaching approaches such as scaffolding, student centered, inquiry, authentic and meaningful, collaborative and mobile learning are all aspects of teaching strategies and pedagogies that directly link to the social constructivism theory of learning (Yilmaz, 2008).

Along with the social constructivism theory there are also frameworks in place that should be used in conjunction with this theory and other theories as well. Frameworks such as Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge Framework (TPACK) is a valuable framework that works well with this theory in particular. It covers the basis of what to know, what to teach, and how to teach it. It is a framework aimed at providing teachers with an effective pedagogical practice based in a technology enhanced learning environment (Howell 2012).  Therefore the use of this framework depicts the importance of the social constructivism theory and has a high influence on the way in which the framework is structured.

The following videos are evidence of the importance and relevance of this theory in education.

The effectiveness and influence of the social constructivism theory in a classroom is based on the teacher’s dedication and ability to apply it. This theory is a highly important theory for young learners and especially in regards to technology. It is clear that teaching and learning with technology is interactive and therefore relates directly to this theory. It is important that teachers know and understand the process of this theory and the frameworks in order with it to be a successful learning process.

 

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