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What I learned was what constructivism is and why it came

into existance. What was wrong with ‘Cognitivism’ then we came
up ‘Constructivism’ ? Cognitivism is concerned with the way in
which the human mind thinks and learns whereas Constructivism
puts its emphasis on creating personal understanding, personal
meaning from experiances. So, when it is thought that one
approach is enefficient to explain the educational psychology,
another one appears. What does it mean ‘constructing personal
meaning ‘ ? Let’s explain with children to answer this question.
Children have such a wonderful curiosity that they ask lots of
questions to adults just to make sense of environment. They are
wonderful observer and imitators of adults, as well. Children see
and children do as we watched in the video. So, they behave
through experiences and construct their meaning , what is wrong
what is right etc.. As a result, the more experience children have,
the more conclusion they make. What is important here is to be
good model for children, for our students.

I also learned Piaget and Bruner’s ideas about

Constructivism. According to Piaget, we come to know things as a
direct result of our personal experiences,but we make sense of
these experiences at different stages of our lives. First stage is
sensorimotor stage (0-2). At this stage, the young infat tries to
explore the environment through her senses. Second stage is pre-
operational stage(2-7). At this stage , child’s imagination starts to
play a vital role in her development. Third stage is concrete-
operational stage (7-12) At this stage, child can understand only
concrete examples rather than abstract ones. Final stage is
formal-operational stage(12- …) At this stage, adult can
understand abstract subject as well as concrete ones.

I also learned that Piaget sees cognitive development

as a process of maturation, that is, child and her mind develops
by the help of genetics and experience interaction. Developing
mind sets a balance between what is known and what is
experienced, which is called equilibration. However, this can be
achieved by processes of assimilation and accomodation .
Assimilation is the process by which we can fit the incoming
information in with what we already know. Accomodation is the
process by which we modify what we already know to take into
consideration new information.
When it comes to Bruner, he thinks that we should see
students as whole persons. That is, we should take into
consideration not only their cognition but also their emotions.
Moreover, they should learn how to learn that is , they should
develop independence from the teacher and develop their own
iner criteria for correctness. They should become autonomous
learners. Bruner also thinks that there must be ‘optimum
conditions’ for learning. For example, if the student is hungry or
upset or if the classroom conditions are not so good, it is not
possible to learn anything for students. According to Bruner ,
teaching must have a purpose. Teaching should have relevance to
students’ life and serve us in the future. Moreover, he thinks that
there is 3 levels of children; enactive, iconic and symbolic. At the
enactive level, learning should take place by means of
kinaesthetic aids. At the iconic level, learning should take place
by means of visuals. At the symbolic level, learning should take
place by means of symbols.

What I had difficulty in figuring out was Piaget’s cognitive

development processes ( maturation, equilibration, assimilation
and accomodation) I explained what I understood from these
definitions but I am not sure with certainty.

I suppose I need to focus more on what I had difficulty

in figuring out.

I believe I will use of Constructivism, Piaget and Bruner’s

ideas in my teaching.I think what is the most important feature of
Constructivism is to be able to construct your own meaning
because students don’t need to me as a teacher because of the
fact that they can learn any kind of knowledge through internet.
So, they should make their own sense of the world and
experiences that surround them and gain autonomy. Before
starting to teaching, I will mention what my outcomes are and
what kind of things I am going to teach them because when the
students know what the steps are, they feel secure. While
teaching, I will make use of sudents’ interests because when
teaching is relevant to students’ life, their motivation will be
higher. Moreover, at students’ enactive level, I will use of drama,
TPR etc. At their iconic level, I will use of pictures, videos etc. At
their symbolic level, I will use symbols. Also, when students are
exposed to ‘i +1level’ comprehensible input, they develope
competence overtime. Input shouldn’t be too easy in that there is
nothing new to learn or it shouldn’t be too difficult but should be
given at such a level that the students must work a little in order
to understand, so I will benefit from ‘i+1level’ hypothesis in my
teaching.Furthermore , imagination is more important than
intelligence, so I will use creative and thought-provoking
activities in my teaching just to improve students’ creativity. So I
will not allow the schools to kill the students’ creativity! 