Difference Between Constructivism and Constructionism

Constructivism vs Constructionism
 

The difference between constructivism and constructionism has its basis on the focus of each theory. Constructivism and Constructionism are two educational, psychological theories that have been influenced by one another. Constructivism was founded by Piaget whereas constructionism was founded by Papert. Both Paget and Papert believed that knowledge is created by the child in the active process of interacting with the surrounding world. Constructivism highlights the interests and abilities of children to achieve specific educational goals at different ages. Constructionism, on the other hand, focuses on the manner of learning. This highlights that these two theories are different from one another. Through this article, the differences between the two theories, constructivism and constructionism, will be presented as the article provides a clear understanding of each theory.

What is Constructivism?

It was Jean Piaget who found educational constructivism. According to him, constructivism opens a gateway to the interests and abilities of children to achieve specific educational goals at different ages. It studies the manner in which children engage in different tasks and how these change over time. Piaget believed that children have their views about the world. These are very coherent views. These views are forever changing as children interact with others and acquire new experiences.

Piaget believes that children do not change their views just because they are being taught. In this sense, teaching is an indirect process. The child interprets what is being taught based on his experiences and knowledge. He further points out that the knowledge that the child gains through teaching is not merely information that is being communicated. It has to be experienced.

However, there are certain flaws in his theory. Critics point out that even though Piaget presents the thinking of the child at different stages, it does not capture certain important aspects such as the impact of context, individual features, media, etc.

Difference Between Constructivism and Constructionism

Jean Piaget

What is Constructionism?

It was Seymour Papert who founded constructionism. This was based on Piaget’s constructivism. However, unlike in constructivism, in constructionism, attention is given to the manner of learning. This is also referred to as the art of learning. He was interested in studying the conversation between the learner and the artifacts, which led to self-directed learning.

Papert’s theory is considered as broader and consists of a greater focus than constructivism. This is because it allows us to comprehend the formation and transformation of ideas in different contexts. It also presents how it occurs in the individual mind of the learner. In this sense, one can identify a clear shift between the two theories as constructionism clearly highlights the individual rather than the universals.

Papert believed that expression of individual feelings was vital as it allows them to be shared and also affects our ideas. He believed that this influenced the self-directed learning process of the learner. He further stated that knowledge is grounded in contexts.

 Constructivism vs Constructionism

Seymour Papert

What is the difference between Constructivism and Constructionism?

• Definitions of Constructivism and Constructionism:

• Constructivism highlights the interests and abilities of children to achieve specific educational goals at different ages.

• Constructionism focuses on the manner of learning.

• Founders:

• Constructivism was founded by Jean Piaget.

• Constructionism was founded by Seymour Papert.

• Connection:

• Constructionism was developed through the ideas of constructivism.

• Scope:

• Constructionism is broader and consists of a greater focus than constructivism.

• Focus:

• Constructivism does not focus on the context and individual differences.

• Constructionism focuses on the context and individual differences.

• Attention:

• In constructivism, attention is paid to the abilities of children at different developmental stages.

• In constructionism, attention is paid to the individual learning.

 

Images Courtesy:

  1. Jean Piaget by mirjoran (CC BY 2.0)
  2. Seymour Papert by Rodrigo Padula (CC BY-SA 2.0)