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• It is a paradigm that emerged in the 1960s, focuses on the
human freedom, dignity, and potential.
A central assumption of humanism, according to Huitt (2001), is that
people act with intentionality and values. The humanistic theory of learning
involves the concept of learning through watching the behavior of others and
what results from that behavior, so learning comes about as a result of
observation (Barrett, 2006).
Figures in Humanistic models of Learning
•Abraham Maslow (1908 – 1970):
Considered the Father of Humanistic Psychology
• He is famous for proposing that human motivation is based on a hierarchy
of needs. The four levels (lower-order needs) are considered physiological
needs, while the top level is considered growth needs. The lower level needs
to be satisfied before higher-order. The most fundamental and basic four
layers of the pyramid contain what Maslow called "deficiency needs" or "d-
needs": esteem, friendship and love, security, and physical needs.
• He believed that development of human potential, dignity and worth are
• Maslow rejected behaviorist views and Freud's theories on the basis of
their reductionistic approaches. He felt Freud's view of human nature was
negative, and he valued goodness, nobility and reason.
• Maslow's theory of learning highlighted the differences between
• experiential knowledge and spectator knowledge. He regarded spectator,
• or scientific knowledge to be inferior to experiential.
• He was discouraged by the emphasis on Cognitivism in education.
Rogers‘ point of view emphasized the inclusion of feelings and
emotions in education.
• He believed that the highest levels of significant learning included personal
involvement so they could change attitudes, behavior, and in some cases, even the
personality of the learner. Learning needed to be evaluated by the learner and take on
meaning as part of the total experience.
“Tell me how you feel” is much more
important statement to humanists
rather than “Tell me what you think”
• Constructivism is a theory of learning which posits that
students learn by actively constructing their own
knowledge and concepts cannot simply be transferred
from teachers to students they have to be conceived.(von
Glasersfeld 1996; Fosnot 1996; Duffy and Cunning-ham 1996)
• It is a school of thought that emphasizes both the
learner’s role in constructing meaning out of their social
interactions with the environment.
• Thus, in constructivism, the familiar and inaccurate
metaphor of the mind as a container waiting to be filled
is replaced by the metaphor of the mind as an agent
actively seeking to satisfy its curiosity and resolve
Constructivism is the idea that, learning
doesn’t just happen by the traditional
methods of teachers standing in front of
the class and lecturing.
Two types of Constructivism:
1-Cognitive Constructivism: Learners must inductively discover and
transform complex information if they are to make it their own.
2-Social Constructivism: Emphasizes the importance of social interaction
and cooperative learning in constructing both cognitive and emotional
images of reality.
• Piaget believed that children learn through organization and schemas.
He believed that by organizing concepts and ideas, children place them
into schemas. He believed that children are in control of the knowledge
that they are provided and move forward in construct their own learning
by taking part in social activities and exploration.
•Learning is a developmental process that involves change, self
generation and construction each building on prior learning
• Piaget’s constructivism offers a window into what children are interested
in, and able to achieve, at different stages of their development. Piaget
suggests that children have very good reasons not to abandon their
worldviews just because someone else, be it an expert, tells them they’re
• Children thinking and meaning making is socially constructed and
emerges out of their social interactions with the environment.
Developed the social cognition theory which “asserts that culture is
the prime determinant of individual development” and it effects our
learning development. Vygotsky theorized that a child’s cultural
upbringing greatly effects their learning development. Vygotsky
believed that learning needs to be engaging. He believed that learning
takes place as children are interacting with each other and exploring
their environment and it is simultaneous to social interaction and
exploration. In other words, he did not feel as though one was more
important than the other.
Zone of Proximal Development:
The ZPD is the difference between what a learner can do without
help and what he or she can do with help.
The distance between learners existing developmental state and
their potential development.
A learner has not yet learned but is capable of learning with
He believed that learning should be engaging to the
they will learn better if they are interested.
He believed in “educating the whole child, physically,
mentally, and socially, and not just on the dispensation of facts
and information” (Cushman et al 395)
What does Constructivism mean for Teachers?
“In a constructivist setting, the role of the teacher is
to order to engage the student’s interest. He
assists the students in developing new insights and
connecting them with their previous learning”
Constructivism: Pros and Cons:
Each person in the world builds their own knowledge.
Focuses on student- centered learning
Teacher guides students in building their own understanding
Students actively engaged in their learning process
Lack of teacher preparation for constructivist classrooms
Difficult to break the cycle of those who have been taught in a classroom
where they were expected to solely absorb information.
Brooks, Jaqueline, and Martin Brooks. "Constructivism." Funderstanding:
Education and Training for Active Learners. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2010.
Cashman, Thomas J., Glenda A. Gunter, Randolph E. Gunter, and Gary B. Shelly. Teachers
Discovering Computers: Integrating Technology and Digital Media in the Classroom,
Fourth Edition (Shelly Cashman Series). 4 ed. Cambridge: Course Technology, 2005.
"Constructivism as a Paradigm for Teaching and Learning." THIRTEEN. N.p., n.d. Web. 16
Hanley, Susan. "On Constructivism." Townson. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2010.
Smith, Mark. " jerome bruner and the process of education ." contents @ the
informal education homepage. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2010.
"Vygotsky and Social Cognition." Funderstanding: Education and Training for
Active Learners. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2010.