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Learning theory, art movement

Education: Constructivism is ‘an approach to learning that holds that people actively construct or make their own knowledge and that reality is determined by the experiences of the learner’.

Art: Constructivism, Russian Konstruktivizm, Russian artistic and architectural movement that was first influenced by Cubism and Futurism and is generally considered to have been initiated in 1913 with the “painting reliefs”—abstract geometric constructions—of Vladimir Tatlin. The expatriate Russian sculptors Antoine Pevsner and Naum Gabo joined Tatlin and his followers in Moscow, and upon publication of their jointly written Realist Manifesto in 1920 they became the spokesmen of the movement. It is from the manifesto that the name Constructivism was derived; one of the directives that it contained was “to construct” art. Because of their admiration for machines and technology, functionalism, and modern industrial materials such as plastic, steel, and glass, members of the movement were also called artist-engineers.

Types of Constructivism:

1) Epistemological Constructivism is the philosophical view, as described above, that our knowledge is "constructed" in that it is contingent on convention, human perception and social experience.

2) Social Constructivism (or Social Constructionism) is the theory in Sociology and Learning Theory that categories of knowledge and reality are actively created by social relationships and interactions. A social construction (or social construct) is a concept or practice which may appear to be natural and obvious to those who accept it, but in reality is an invention or artifact of a particular culture or society. Ludwig Wittgenstein's later philosophy can be seen as a foundation for Social Constructivism, with its key theoretical concepts of language games embedded in forms of life.

3) Psychological Constructivism theorizes about and investigates how human beings create systems for meaningfully understanding their worlds and experiences. Personal Construct Psychology is a theory of personality developed by the American psychologist George Kelly in the 1950's that a person's unique psychological processes are channeled by the way he or she anticipates events.

4) Genetic Epistemology is a type of Constructivism established by Jean Piaget (1896 - 1980) which studies the origins (genesis) of knowledge. It purports to show that the method by which the knowledge was obtained or created affects the validity of that knowledge. For example, our direct experience of gravity makes our knowledge of it more valid than our indirect experience of black holes. It holds that change only occurs if the subject engages with experiences from outside its worldview. The theory also attempts to explain the process of how a human being develops cognitively from birth throughout his or her life, through four primary stages of development.

5) Mathematical Constructivism is the view in Philosophy of Mathematics that it is necessary to find (or "construct") a mathematical object to prove that it exists. Intuitionism is a kind of Mathematical Constructivism, which maintains that the foundations of mathematics lie in the individual mathematician's intuition, thereby making mathematics into an intrinsically subjective activity.


Constructivism began to develop around this time

Further Resources


Constructivism as a Philosophy of Research


March 28, 2021

Constructivism in the 20s


May 3, 2020

Exchange: Soviet Constructivist Film Posters


Social constructionism | Society and Culture | MCAT | Khan Academy


September 17, 2013

View of The Influence of Interpersonal Relationships on the Functioning of the Constructivist Network. A Case Study of Poland and the Low Countries - De invloed van intermenselijke relaties op het functioneren van het constructivistische netwerk. Een case study van Polen en de Lage Landen



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