Reading Vygotsky’s Constructivism made me somehow relate it to Student-Centered Learning (SCL) for I just later realized that one of SCL attribute is construction of learning which is obviously rooted in constructivism theory. Thus, making it more sense to me now. In all honesty, I really like the idea of Vygotsky’s Constructivism for it seemed to be more realistic and true compared to other learning theories. Let me put out into list the reason’s why I prefer this kind of learning inside classroom based on 2 key constructivist principles .
- Learning is an active rather than a passive process.
This is obviously the basis of a student-centered learning approach. I believe Piaget’s Cognitive theory is also based on this principles. According to Piaget, learning is a dynamic process comprising successive stages of adaptation to reality during which the learners actively construct knowledge by creating and testing on theories of the world. What appears to be more interesting to me in Piaget’s cognitive theory is the concept of schema (building blocks of knowledge). In his own definition, schemas are useful for it allows us to take shortcuts in interpreting the vast amounts of information that is available and that is through the environment. Looking back at my childhood years, even though I was unaware that I was actually using this “schema strategy”, I am very sure that this type of technique will be very effective in conducting tutorials to students as this often works for me in my understanding new concepts.
- Learning, to be effective, should be whole, authentic, and “real”.
Another proof of student-centered learning as this is based on student’s shared experience with learning from each other. In Vygotsky’s Social Constructivism, it clearly emphasized the collaboration in the production of knowledge and understanding. He put the stress on the importance of community in the process of making meaning or the development of cognitive aspect of the child (McLeod,2014). Using his theory in the context of learning, I would say that his view seemed to be more realistic compared to other theorist in learning. In addition, Vygotsky suggested that learning occurs within the Zone of Proximal Development (ZDP), the area between the level of independent performance and assisted performance. In learning process, it is very crucial to really know, the individuals ZDP. By identifying what needs to be assisted in the process, one can easily create strategies/techniques to address learning deficiencies of a person. Indeed, by experience or immersing into a certain society, one can tell produce an understanding or knowledge on what is the world around him based on the evidences present in a society. This must also be true in learning
In totality, what I have learned in Vygotsky’s constructivism can be very applicable in a classroom environment as this both involves active participation on the part of the student and the teacher and can also be very effective if properly executed like making use of the environment or surroundings as an extension of learning.
McLeod S.(2014). Simply Psychology: Liv Vygotsky. Retrieved at http://www.simplypsychology.org/vygotsky.html