Image of National Development Plan logo. Link to NDP home page
National Development Plan
Image of Trinity College crest. Link to TCD home page
Trinity College, Dublin
Home | Course | Mindstorms | Teaching | Resources
Introduction | Constructionism | Kolb's Theory | Cognitivism | Constructivism

"There are two basic ideas of education. One is instructionism; people who subscribe to that idea look for better ways to teach. The other is constructionism; we look for better things for children to do, and
assume that they will learn by doing."
Seymour Papert

The learning philosophy underpinning this module could be defined as a hybrid of the two main ideas highlighted in Papert's quote. Thus, this module is an attempt to provide better ways to teach/facilitate learning by providing learners with better things to do.

The designed and development of this module is informed in the main theoretical concepts of Papert's Constructionist Theory and Kolb's Theory of Experiential Learning. Nonetheless, these two theories are informed in key principals drawn from Piaget's Genetic Epistemology theory which explores Cognitive development and Constructivist Theories such as Bruner's theory of Constructivism and Vygotsky's Social Development Theory.

The key theoretical concepts underpinning this project can be summarized as follows:

  • We don't educate learners, we create a context in which they learn
  • The co-evolution of tangible knowledge embodied in a physical construction, and the abstract knowledge represented by understanding constitute a process of knowledge construction.
  • Learning occurs as a result of a learner's active participation in events and it is informed in the learner's own experiences.
  • Learning-by-doing is particularly effective due to its holistic approach of addressing the cognitive, emotional and physical aspect of learning.
  • Technology can be used as a leverage on complexity, it provides a means to handle complexity, enabling learners do and learn things they couldn't do before.

To explore the Learning theories informing the teaching/learning approach proposed in this module follow the links: