Learning is active as opposed to passive. Students learn by doing instead of observing. Passive education is extremely inefficient, for it fails to engage the student within a given subject. In constructivist environments, learners confront their understanding in light of what they encounter in new learning situations. If what learners encounter is inconsistent with their current understanding, their understanding can change to accommodate new experiences. Learners remain active throughout this process: they apply current understandings, note relevant elements in new learning experiences, judge the consistency of prior and emerging knowledge, and based on that judgment, they can modify knowledge.
The role of a constructivist teacher is to be a guide for the learning process. The teacher provides students with opportunities to test their current understandings and build upon those understandings. Constructivist approach to learning emphasizes authentic, challenging projects. The teacher's role is not that of an expert, but instead one of a facilitator. Teachers also encourage and design experiences to utilize group interaction. The interplay between participants in a learning experience help students become explicit about their own understanding by comparing it to that of their peers. Conceptual growth comes from the sharing of various perspectives and the simultaneous changing of our internal representations in response to those perspectives as well as through cumulative experience. All of this takes a good amount of time.
Some of the basic tenets behind constructivism are:
Room 15's classroom environment takes into account the following concepts in order to successfully implement constructivist activities:
In constructivism, guided instruction is implemented that puts students at the center of the learning process, and provides guidance and concrete teaching whenever necessary. If one wants to learn how to ride a bike, s/he doesn't pick a book on bicycle theory - s/he gets on the bike and practices it until it is right. That is the root behind constructivism.