“ Social constructivism is a sociological theory of knowledge that applies the general philosophical constructivism into social settings, where in groups construct knowledge for one another, collaboratively creating a small culture of shared artifacts with shared meanings. When one is immersed within a culture of this sort, one is learning all the time about how to be a part of that culture on many levels. Its origins are largely attributed to Lev Vygotsky “( Sequeira, 2013).
Four principles are applied in any Vygotskian classroom:
1. Learning and development is a social, collaborative activity.
2. The Zone of Proximal Development can serve as a guide for curricular and lesson planning.
3. School learning should occur in a meaningful context and not be separated from learning and knowledge children develop in the “real world.”.
4. Out-of-school experiences should be related to the child’s school experience (Chen, 2010).
Technology provides essential tools with which to accomplish the goals of a social constructivist classroom for example telecommunications tools such as:
- E-mail and the Internet provide a means for dialogue, discussion, and debate this could be interactivity that leads to the social construction of meaning.
- Students can talk with other students, teachers, and professionals in communities far from their classroom.
- Telecommunications tools can also provide students access to many different types of information resources that help them understand both their culture and the culture of others ( Atherton, 2011).
I believe individuals do work better when they are working together as they can each share ideas and knowledge with each other. Also through this they can gain more confidence as they are not alone they are working in a team. Social constructivism is a great way of learning as individuals can communicate amongst each other and expand their knowledge through factors such as personal interest. In addition it is a great way to learn as individuals are using their prior knowledge from their social and cultural life to try and understand a concept and with a help of a teacher this concept can be further expanded and understood.
Here is a video on social constructivism taking place in a 4/5 classroom. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6pFMPSWBds, Retrieved,(10/04/13).
Interested in some social constructivism teaching ideas? take a look at the following link.http://www.timbedley.com/
Atherton J, S. (2011). Learning and Teaching; Constructivism in learning [On-line: UK] retrieved 12 April 2013 from http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/constructivism.htm
Chen, I. (2010). An overview of constructivism. Retrieved April 10,2013 from http://viking.coe.uh.edu/~ichen/ebook/et-it/cover.htm
Sequeira, P. (2013). Social constructivis. Retrieved April 10, 2012 from http://web.ist.utl.pt/~pedro.sequeira/phd/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=409:social-constructivism&catid=39:q-u&Itemid=69