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Bruner Constructivism

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One of the founding fathers of constructivist theory was Jerome Bruner, a member of the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. Bruner presents just one of the many perspectives that are part of constructivist theory, using Piaget’s ideas regarding cognitive development to help shape his own strategies. The notion that individuals construct new knowledge based on their own ideas and experiences is present in Bruner’s theory; he also emphasizes the notion that learning is an active process, one in which learners need to take an active role in advancing their own development.

Bruner Constructivism

However, Bruner differs from other theorists as a result of his emphasis on categorization. He believes that perception is rooted heavily in one’s ability to categorize new information with similarly understood material; he believes that conceptualizing new ideas is akin to linking them to ideas that have already been categorized and understood. By forming categories, one is able to learn and to make appropriate decisions, essential to the processes inherent in constructivism.

Bruner believes that any subject could be taught to a learner at any age; the educator merely needs to utilize the individual’s levels of cognitive, psychosocial, and emotional development in creating and implementing the pedagogical strategies to be used. Young children can be taught algebra, given that the teaching style is catered to their unique capabilities and preexisting knowledge. When individuals display “readiness for learning,” a critical component of Bruner’s theories, they are capable of learning any sort of new material, provided the educator/facilitator works with their unique abilities.

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