Constructivism, a variant of cognitivism, is centered around the principle that an individual constructs his own understanding of the world he lives in by reflecting on his experiences. An individual generates his own mental models, which he uses to make sense of his experiences. Brandt and Perkins write, “Both a philosophical and psychological stance, constructivism argues that the human mind does not simply take in the world but makes it up in an active way”. Brooks describes the underlying principle of constructivism in more detail.
Each of us makes sense of our world by synthesizing new experiences into what we have previously come to understand. Often, we encounter an object, an idea, a relationship, or a phenomenon that doesn’t quite make sense to us. When confronted with such initially discrepant data or perceptions, we either interpret what we see to conform to our present set of rules for explaining and ordering our work, or we generate a new set of rules that better accounts for what we perceive to be occurring. Either way, our perceptions and rules are constantly engaged in a grand dance that shapes our understandings.
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