Constructivism Theory in Curriculum Development

Subject: Education
Pages: 3
Words: 581
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: Master

Introduction

Constructivism is the theory based on the idea that people are engaged in the active process of constructing or making their knowledge and, therefore, the reality is defined by one’s experience as a learner. The purpose of constructivism is based on the belief in the personal construction of meaning conducted through an individual’s experience, wherein meaning is shaped by the interaction of prior knowledge and new events. Its major concepts indicate that all knowledge is socially constructive and personal and that learning is an active process existing in the mind of oneself (Mohammed and Kinyo, 2020). With this said, constructivism is a broad concept that can be applied in various educational domains through its underlying principles of applying knowledge and experience into the learning process.

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Constructivism in Nursing Education

Constructivism has its considerable impact in teaching nursing students in clinical settings to educate globally competent nurse practitioners. As such, compared to the traditional approach to education, constructivism-based teaching is constructive, reflective, collaborative, active, inquiry-based, and evolving. According to Antonio (2019), the constructivist learning theory assists nursing students in the learning process by enhancing critical thinking skills and “encouraging a rapid adaptation to changes in evidence-based practice” (p. 3). Therefore, the critical thinking skills help nurse graduates to develop competence in information gathering, critical analysis, experiential evaluation, and designing a new framework for the information obtained. This theory promotes personal reflections of nurse practitioners throughout the active learning process and helps them internalize the knowledge independently.

The Implications for Curriculum Development

Given that the curriculum is the core of the educational path, it is considered sharing of learning experiences between the teacher and learner. It impacts the consequent evaluation process, training, development, and resource allocation for the beneficial learning system. Emergent curriculum is a constructive type of curriculum, including “teachers, students, teaching materials, and environment” interaction in the course of dialogue (Seyyedrezaie and Barani, 2017, p. 121). The constructivist curriculum concentrates on the sharing of individual meaning and the knowledge constructed by collaboration with others.

The Learners’ and Educators’ Responsibilities

Within the constructivist approach to teaching, one of the main responsibilities of an educator implies creating a cooperative problem-solving environment. In such a learning climate, the students can become actively engaged participants in their own learning. The educators serve as the “facilitators of learning” in the constructivist classrooms (McLeod, 2019, para. 8). Teachers need to examine the preexisting conceptions and students’ perceptions and incorporate such knowledge in these areas. The teaching method must comply with the learner’s level of understanding.

Learning Experience

One of the learning experiences can be illustrated through its implementation in clinical settings. An innovative learning experience in healthcare comprised specified competencies. It provided case-based simulation, intervention skill-based experiences, focused direct client care with defined outcomes, concept-based learning activities, and integrative clinical experience (Antonio, 2019). Such learning experience enabled a self-reliant course to develop situated learning of knowledge through clinical reasoning and skills and iterative learning, which is essential for establishing competent clinical judgment.

Conclusion

Constructivism is a fundamental learning theory commonly applied in education to help students enhance their learning experience and knowledge. The constructivist approach demonstrates an alternative perspective on education in various areas, providing several different measurement and evaluation activities. Based on the constructivist methodology, students are actively involved in their learning process and shape their experience through the interplay of previous and new knowledge. The theory is widely applied in educational settings since it focuses on learning through interactive teaching and alternative assessment methods.

References

Antonio, G. C. B. (2019). Constructivism: An approach in training nursing students in the clinical setting. International Journal of Nursing, 5(2). Web.

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McLeod, S. A. (2019). Constructivism as a theory for teaching and learning. Simply Psychology. Web.

Mohammed, S. H., & Kinyo, L. (2020). The role of constructivism in the enhancement of social studies education. Journal of Critical Reviews, 7(7), 249–256. Web.

Seyyedrezaie, S. H., & Barani, G. (2017). Constructivism and curriculum development. Journal of Humanities Insights, 1(3), 119–124. Web.