The use of constructivist theories has been very prominent in schools and is often attributed to Piaget and Vygotsky. Both theories are focused around learners constructing their own knowledge based on the knowledge they already have. On my schooling, I was generally an independent earner which therefore made Piaget’s approach highly appropriate for me. I also enjoy the interaction with peers that the school environment allows for as described by Vygotsky who states that social interaction is key for reaching learning goals. I think that the zone of proximal development which I introduced by Vygotsky is also crucial to education as it encourages students to challenge themselves with the support of the teacher or mentor.
In my placement, both constructivist theories are useful in some aspects of learning. Through using concrete materials, students are able to discover for themselves what a pattern is during their maths class. After a brief explanation from the teacher, students explore the topic creating their own patterns and linking their new knowledge to previous knowledge which allows them to better retain information. Social constructivism is less effective in this class room as the varied cognitive and learning disabilities mean that while the student effectively communicate with the teacher, they sometimes struggle to work together as a group to reach new knowledge. Therefore, it is clear that a constructivist approach works well in individual learning however any group learning needs to be highly structured to ensure that students are gaming the most knowledge they can and achieve ther goals.