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Social Cognitive and Constructivist Views of Learning


Recognizes that learning involves the individual learners contribution. Individuals construct their unique cognitive structure (ability to aquire knowledge). Construct new knowledge through interaction of what they already know and believe.

Psychological/Individual Constructivism

Learning is internal, unique, own process to construct meaning. Ex. Child putting marbles in a container, displacement.

Vygotsky's Social Constructivism

Internal changes in thinking as a result of external events. Learning is contextual. (He concerned some of his work with internal changes, so sometimes viewed as psychological). Interested in the impact of cultural tools (Reading, writing, modes of discourse). Ex. Child reads about ducks landing in tailing ponds, is upset, asks how people could create a hazard that leads to suffering, and increases understanding of values directing human behaviour.

Social Constructivism

Knowledge held by a group or society as a whole. Societal knowledge is conveyed to members, all knowledge is socially constructed. Powerful people (parents and teachers) have power over children. Ex. Some parents may teach the "Golden Rule", or that others cannot be trusted. Bring in students ideas into the classroom.

Situated Knowledge

Constructed bits of knowledge at certain times. Ex. Medical.

Situated Learning

Skills and knowledge are tied to the situation they were learned. Encouraging constructivist thinking in the classroom, should not always be a right answer, suggest opportunity to discuss differing views.

Inquiry Learning

Application of constructivism, students presented with a question, formulate, collect data, draw conclusions, reflect.

Problem based learning

Students presented with a real problem that's interesting or meaningful, find a solution, Ex. Writing to an MPP or MO.

Cognitive Apprenticeships

Guided practice, learns and mentors skills. Observe an expert, receive coaching mentoring or tutoring, put into practice, reflect on progress, explore new ways.

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