Constructivism: Paradigm Shift from Teacher Centered To Student Centered Approach
International Journal of Indian Psychology
Constructivism is a departure in thought about the nature of knowing, hence of learning and thus of teaching. Constructivists believe that knowledge and truth are constructed by people and therefore do not exist outside the human mind. Von Glaserfeld (1984) has written: "...learners construct understanding. They do not simply mirror and reflect what they are told or what they read. Learners look for meaning and will try to find regularity and order in the events of the world even in the absence
... of full or complete information." Constructivism requires a teacher to act as a facilitator whose main function is to help students become active participants in their learning and make meaningful connections between prior knowledge, new knowledge, and the processes involved in learning. Teachers, thus, need to have a sound understanding of what constructivism means to evaluate its promise and to use it knowledgeably and effectively. Hence, from a constructivist perspective, the primary responsibility of the teacher is to create and maintain a collaborative problem-solving environment, where students are allowed to construct their own knowledge, and the teacher acts as a facilitator and guide. In the constructivist model, students are urged to be actively involved in their own process of learning, on the assumption that individuals construct knowledge instead of receiving it from others. The way in which knowledge is conceived and acquired, the types of knowledge, skills, and activities emphasized, the role of the learner and the teacher, how goals are established: All of these factors are expressed differently from the constructivist perspective (Christie & Stone, 1999). This paper explicates some of the theoretical background of Constructivism and then presents.