Constructivism: A Psychological Theory of Learning

By Catherine Twomey Fosnot and Randall Stewart Perry


Psychology—the way learning is defined, studied, and understood—underlies much of the curricular and instructional decision-making that occurs in education. Constructivism, perhaps the most current psychology of learning, is no exception. Initially based on the work of Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky, and then supported and extended by contemporary biologists and cognitive scientists, it is having major ramifications on the goals teachers set for the learners with whom they work, the instructional strategies teachers employ in working towards these goals, and the methods of assessment utilized by school personnel to document genuine learning.


What is this theory of learning and development that is the basis of the current reform movement and how is it different from other models of psychology?