Constructivism is basically a theory about how people learn.
It says that people construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world, through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences.
When we encounter something new, we have to reconcile it with our previous ideas and experience, maybe changing what we believe, or maybe discarding the new information as irrelevant. In any case, we are active creators of our own knowledge. To do this, we must ask questions, explore, and assess what we know.
Constructivist teachers encourage students to constantly assess how the activity is helping them gain understanding.
By questioning themselves and their strategies, students in the constructivist classroom ideally become “expert learners.”
This gives them ever-broadening tools to keep learning. With a well-planned classroom environment, the students learn HOW TO LEARN.
They gain ownership of their own learning.
You might look at it as a spiral. When they continuously reflect on their experiences, students find their ideas gaining in complexity and power, and they develop increasingly strong abilities to integrate new information. One of the teacher’s main roles becomes to encourage this learning and reflection process. (see ALACTmodel )
LifeLongLearning fits in perfectly into the ideas of constructivism. Ideas that are taken over in Competency Based Education where Competency Based Assessment plays a crucial role.