How Constructivists View Learning
Constructivist psychologists maintain that information transformation must be meaningful. Learners utilize an active cognitive processing system to learn meaningfully. They organize their thoughts into a logical representation by bridging the newly learnt knowledge with that already acquired. In addition, learners have full autonomy and their ingenuity is encouraged.
To the constructivist, learning is all about mental construction. Learning takes place collectively. It is viewed as a set of cooperative learning in a socially packed environment. Learning takes place when students collaborate with one another. Learners learn cooperatively to find solutions to a common problem or complete a task. Research (Qais, et, al., 2007) has shown that learners in a constructivist style of learning situation are motivated and enjoy learning much more compared to those taught by teachers using traditional methodology. What is even more significant is that learners show greater interest in learning in the constructivist classroom.
Piaget, one of the more outspoken constructivist thinkers, believes that learners have an internal cognitive organization, and that is why they understand the world better. They learn because information is assimilated into their cognitive structures. She believes that children learn through their actions. To him, knowledge is to invent (Piaget, 1929). Piaget suggests, “that we ‘see’ objects not only with our eyes but also with our minds. One-year-old ‘see’ objects at their level of development, and 3-year-old ‘see’ the same object with a higher-level of logico-mathematical knowledge” (Miyakawa, & Nagahiro, 2005).
According to Piaget, there are four stages of development in a learning process: From ages 0-2 years of age, it is the sensory motor development stage. During this period, intelligence takes shape in the form of motor actions.