Constructivism In Learning: Benefits And Applications

Categories: Constructivism


International Encyclopedia of Education (1987) defines Constructivism as, “It is the statement used for the thought that information build by the pupils for their own, every individual create understanding as they gain knowledge independently and in a social content.” Constructivism is a popular learning theory that focuses on student-centered learning.

Principles of Constructivism

In the lesson, it is easy to ask students to remember formulas and steps to finish the assignment. However, teachers should encourage students to invent their own ways of calculating rather than tell them how (Kamii & Lewis, 1990).

Clements & Battista (2002) claims that students should not only absorb mathematical knowledge from teachers. According to Dr. Bada, & Olusegun (2015), teachers function as a facilitator who aids students to construct their own understanding. Through classroom activities, students take an initiative role in asking questions, making hypothesizes, exploring the fact, and negotiating with peers. Bereiter (1994) states that people construct their own understanding and knowledge by asking and experiencing in the process of learning.

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Then, meaning can be negotiated and thus conclude their own understanding towards the matter (Hannafin et al., 1997). Such a learning process helps students discover the numerical relationship and later internalize the concepts. This is consistent with Vygotsky’s theory that emphasizes students’ interaction in cognitive development.

Benefits of Constructivism

Dr. Bada, & Olusegun (2015) conclude six benefits of constructivism: focusing on student-centered learning, concentrating on thinking and understanding, learning is transferable, taking autonomy in learning, stimulating students’ learning interest, and developing social and communication skills.

Applications of Constructivism

Take a topic in primary five (the area) as an example for future elaboration.

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Students are assigned to calculate the area of a polygon. By using the traditional method, teachers perform a way of calculation using the dissecting method. Students just copy the method that teachers did. Is it possible to use the fitting method as well? However, students do not have this opportunity to explore. Therefore, using constructivism learning theory in lessons may help. Students firstly engage themselves into groups of four and start exploring the calculation method. After a while, students in the same group may come up with different methods. Here comes the critical point that they need to explain to the group members why his method is the most appropriate. After negotiation, they come up with a method. Since there may not be a definite method (both dissecting and fitting may be alright), students are urged to use the simplest one. From this example, we can know that students do have a comprehensive understanding of dissecting method or fitting method. As a result, applying constructivism requires students’ great engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration, and evaluation.


Constructivism is an appropriate approach for learning mathematics. Although there may be some limitations, we can still guide our students to develop more around the world. Being a teacher, it is time to let our students dominate the lesson and keep exploring. Since the world is changing rapidly, knowledge is not by memorizing or transmitting by teachers, but through personal experiencing, so that students will develop perpetual growth. Schools should take constructivism as a major concern for future mainstream curriculum.

Updated: Feb 02, 2024
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Constructivism In Learning: Benefits And Applications. (2024, Feb 02). Retrieved from

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