Constructionism vs. Instructionism. In the s Seymour Papert delivered the following speech by video to a conference of educators in Japan. (Papert, b). “ Constructivism, in a nutshell, states that children are the builders of their own cognitive tools, as well as of their external. Transcript of CONSTRUCCIONISMO. EN QUE CONSISTE? se plantea que los sujetos al estar activos mientras aprenden construyen también.

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It is easy enough to formulate simple catchy versions of the idea of constructionism; for example, thinking of it as “learning-by-making.

My little play constduccionismo the words construct and constructionism already hints at two of these multiple facets–one seemingly “serious” and one seemingly “playful.

Constructionism–the N word as opposed to the V word–shares constructivism’s connotation of learning as “building knowledge structures” irrespective of the circumstances of the learning.

It then adds the idea that this happens especially felicitously in a context where the learner is consciously engaged in constructing a public entity, whether it’s a sand castle on the beach or a theory of the construccipnismo.

Constructivismo, construccionismo y pedagogía conceptual

And this in turn implies a ramified research program which is the real subject of this introduction and of the volume itself. But in saying all this I must be careful not to transgress the basic tenet shared by the V and the N forms: If one eschews pipeline models of transmitting knowledge in talking among ourselves as well as in theorizing about classrooms, then one must expect that I will not be able to tell you my idea of constructionism.

Doing so is bound to trivialize it. Instead, I must confine myself to engage you in experiences including verbal ones liable to encourage your own personal construction of something in some sense like it.

Only in this way will there be something rich enough in your mind to be worth talking about. But if I am being really serious about this, I have to ask and this will quickly lead us into really deep psychological and epistemological waters what reasons I have to suppose that you will be willing to do this and that if you did construct your own constructionism that it would have any resemblance to mine?

I find an interesting toe-hold for the problem in which I called the playful facet–the element of tease inherent in the idea that it would be particularly oxymoronic to convey the idea of constructionism through a definition since, after all, constructionism boils down to demanding that everything be understood by being constructed.

The joke is construccionsimo to the problem, for the more we share the less improbable it is that our self-constructed constructions should converge.

And I have learned to take as a sign of relevantly common intellectual culture and preferences the penchant for playing with self-referentially recursive situations: Experience shows that people who relate to that kind of thing ;apert play in similar ways. And in some domains those who play alike think alike. Those who like to play with images of structures emerging from their own chaos, lifting themselves by their own bootstraps, are very likely predisposed to constructionism.

They are not the only ones who are so predisposed. In Chapter 9 of this volume, Sherry Turkel and I analyze the epistemological underpinnings of a number of contemporary cultural movements.

We show how trends as different as feminist thought and the ethnography of science join with trends in the computer culture to favor forms of knowledge based on working with concrete materials rather than abstract propositions, and this too predisposes them to prefer learning in a constructionist rather than in an instructionist mode.

In Chapter 2, I make a similar connection with political trends. It does not follow from this that you and I would be precluded from constructing an understanding about constructionism in case you happened not to be in any of the “predisposed groups” I have mentioned. I am not prepared to be “reductionist” quite to that extent about arguing my own theory, and in the following pages I shall probe several other routes to get into resonance on these issues: More like the tinkerer, the bricoleurwe can come to agreement about theories of learning at least for the present and perhaps in principle only by groping in our disorderly bags of tricks and tools for the wherewithal to build understandings.

In some cases there may be no way to do it one-on-one but a mutual understanding could still be socially mediated: But what if we didn’t find a route to any understanding at all?

This would be tragic if we were locked into a classroom or other power ridden situation where one of us has to grade the other; but in the best phases of life, including real science and mathematics, it turns out much more often than is admitted in schools to be right to say: I might appear in the previous paragraph to be talking about accepting or rejecting constructionism as a matter of “taste and preference” rather than a matter of “scientific truth.


When one looks at how people think and learn one sees clear differences. Although it is conceivable that science may one day show that there is a “best way,” no such conclusion seems to be on the horizon. Moreover, even if there were, individuals might prefer to think in their own way rather than in the “best way.

The weak claim is that it suits some people better than other modes of learning currently being used. The strong claim is that it is better for everyone than the prevalent “instructionist” modes practiced in schools. A variant of the strong claim is that this is the only framework that has been proposed that allows the full range of intellectual styles and preferences to each find a point of equilibrium.

But these are not the questions to guide research in the next few years for they presuppose that the concept of constructionism has reached a certain level of maturity and stability. The slogan vivent les differences might become inappropriate at that stage.

Connstruccionismo when the concept itself is in evolution it is appropriate to keep intellectual doors open and this is where we are now. To give a sense of the methodology of this early “pre-paradigmatic” stage I shall tell some stories about incidents that fed the early evolution of the idea.

More than 20 years ago, I was working on a project at the Muzzey Junior High School in Lexington, MA, which had been persuaded by Wally Feuerzeig to allow a seventh grade to “do Logo” instead of math for that year. This was a brave decision for a principal who could not have known that the students would actually advance their math achievement score, even though they didn’t do anything that resembled normal school math that year! But the story I really want to tell is not about test scores.

For a while, I dropped in construccioismo to watch students working on soap sculptures and mused about ways in which this was not like a math class. In the math class students are generally ppaert little problems which they solve or don’t solve pretty well on the fly.

In this particular art class they construccjonismo all carving soap, but what each students carved came from wherever fancy is bred and the project was not done and dropped but continued for many weeks.

It allowed time to think, to dream, to gaze, to get a new idea and try it and drop it or persist, time to talk, to see other people’s work and their reaction to yours–not unlike mathematics as it is for the mathematician, but quite unlike math as it is in junior high school.

I remember craving construccioinsmo of the students’ work and learning that their art teacher and their families had first choice. I was struck by an incongruous image of the teacher in a regular math class pining to own the products of his students’ work! An ambition was born: I want junior high school math class to be like that. I didn’t know exactly what “that” meant but I knew I wanted it. I didn’t even know what to call the idea.

For a oapert time it consfruccionismo in my head as “soap-sculpture math. Soap-sculpture math is an idea that buzzes in the air around my head wherever I go and I assume it was present in the air the students who wrote the chapters in this volume breathed.

Has it been achieved? But little by little by little we are getting there. As you read the chapters you will paprrt many examples of children’s work that exhibits one or another of features of the soap-sculpting class. Here I mention two simple cases which happened to move me especially deeply. They were using this high-tech and actively computational material as an expressive medium; the content came from their imaginations as freely as what the others expressed in soap.

But where a knife was used to shape the soap, mathematics was used here to shape the behavior of the snake and physics to figure out construccioniemo structure. Fantasy and science and math were coming together, uneasily still, but pointing a way. Some members of our group have other ideas: Rather than using a tiny computer, using even tinier logic gates and motors with gears may be fine.

Well, we have to explore these routes 4. But what is important is the vision being pursued and the questions being asked. Which approach best melds science and fantasy? Which favors dreams and visions and sets off trains of good scientific and mathematical ideas? A fifth grader who was in his second year of construccilnismo with LogoWriter was showing a spectacular sample of screen graphics he had programmed.


When asked how he did it, he explained that he had to figure angles and curvatures to obtain the greatest “grace. And he knew it, for he added with pride: I want to be a person who puts math and art together. Here again I hear answers to questions about taking down walls that too often separate imagination from mathematics.

This boy was appropriating mathematics in a deeply personal way. What can we do paapert encourage this? I’ll tell another story to introduce a second ;apert. At the time construccionisml the Muzzey project in Lexington, Logo had not yet acquired the feature for which construcckonismo is best known to most educators: It had no graphics, no Turtle. In fact, at Muzzey School there was no screen, only clanging teletype terminals connected construccionnismo a distant “time-shared” computer.

In fact, the origination of the Logo Turtle was inspired by the soap-sculpture image and a few others like it. About 10 years later, I was working with Sherry Turkle 5 and John Berlow at the Lamplighter School in Dallas, TX, the first elementary school where there were enough computers for children to have almost free palert to them.

The first space shuttle was about to go up, and in the tension of waiting for it appeared in many representations on screens all over the school.

But we noticed that although everyone had space ships they did not make them the same way. Some programmed their space ships as if they had read a book on “structured programming,” in the top-down style of work that proceeds through careful planning to organize the work and by making subprocedures for every part under the hierarchical control of a superprocedure.

Others seemed to work more like a painter than like this classical model of an engineer’s way of doing things. The painter-programmer would put a red blob on the screen and call over her friends for it was more often, though not always, a girl to admire the shuttle.

Constructionism – EduTech Wiki

construccionosmo After a while someone might say: This and many other such incidents initiated an intense interest in differences in ways of doing things, and during the next few years 6 which means into the time when the work in this volume was starting”style” was almost as much in the air as the “soap-sculpture.

These two key ideas appert the stage for the evolution of constructionism. Constructionism’s line of direct descent from the soap-sculpture model is clearly visible. The simplest definition of constructionism evokes the idea of learning-by-making and this is what was taking place when the students worked on their soap sculptures. But there is also a line of descent from the style idea. The metaphor of a painter I used in describing one of the styles of programmer observed at the Lamplighter school is developed in Chapter 9 by Turkle and Papert in two perspectives.

One “bricolage” takes its starting point in strategies for the organization of work: The construccionismoo is guided by the work as it proceeds rather than staying with a pre-established plan.

The other takes off from a more subtle idea which we call “closeness to objects”–that is, some people prefer ways of thinking that keep them close to physical things, while others use abstract and formal means to distance themselves form concrete material. Both of these aspects of style are very relevant to the idea of constructionism. The example of children building a snake suggests ways of working in which those who like bricolage and staying close to the object can do as well as those who construccionismk a more analytic formal style.

Paperf and playing with castles of sand, families of dolls, houses of Lego, and collections of cards provide images of activities which are well rooted in contemporary cultures and which plausibly enter into learning cknstruccionismo that go beyond specific narrow skills. I do not believe that anyone fully understands what gives these activities their quality of “learning-richness. The chapters in this book offer many constructions of new learning-rich activities with cinstruccionismo attempt to reach that quality.