Understanding Constructionism in Education

Educational Technology is now a part of the fabric of learning, much like books and chalkboards were the main instruments of education in the past.

  • Educational Robotics
  • Coding and Programming in the Curriculum
  • Makerspaces and Maker Tools
  • Laptops for all Children

In the world of Educational Technology, you have probably seen or are at least aware of the above-mentioned list and their radical effects on education. Did you know that these concepts were dreamed up in the late 1960s when computer access was only available for research institutions?

These ideas have gone on to change the way that children learn and how technology is used to enhance learning. These concepts and many others were dreamed up by a team of researchers led by Seymour Papert that eventually became known as the educational theory of Constructionism.

Seymour dared educators to grow, invent and lead in a system prone to compliance and standardization. He argued that education is a natural process that blossoms without coercion.

Constructionism surmises that learning is most effective when students are active in making meaningful objects and artifacts and can draw their own conclusions through experimentation across multiple media, thus constructing new relationships with knowledge in the process.

Our Vice President of Education, Mark Barnett, is a Ph.D. student in the lineage of Seymour Papert and has been designing Constructionist learning experiences for over 10 years.

Read more about his journey as a Constructionist educator and the history of Constructionism in this 3-part series on the topic.

For more on Constructionism, watch our BSD Learn webinar over on our YouTube channel today

about Mark
Mark is Vice President of Education. He is passionate about project-based learning and teaching students to create with technology.
With experience in STEAM and maker education, he has consulted with teachers and administrators all over the world to setup and design impactful learning experiences with makerspaces and related education themes. He speaks internationally about equity and access to STEAM and maker education, most notably at the Stanford FabLearn Conference, MIT Libre Learn Lab, SXSWedu, EARCOS in Bangkok, UNESCO in India and at 21st Century Learning in Hong Kong.

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