Jean Piaget (b.1896 –  d.1980) was a Swiss Psychologist and Biologist who did a lot of path breaking work in the area of genetic epistemology and gave the theory of constructivism.

What is Genetic Epistemology?

Genetic Epistemology, which is primarily applicable to learning among children, explains the process of cognitive development in children, as a four-stage process.

  1. The Sensory-motor Stage
  2. The Pre-operational Stage
  3. The Concrete Operational Stage
  4. The Formal Operational State

Jean Piaget’s work has influenced Instructional Design in a big way. However, along the way, his theory of constructivism has gathered some criticism too. The main criticism of constructivism is that some ill-informed teachers and trainers assumed that constructivism-driven discovery learning is the panacea for all learning problems. Instead of building the initial schema for a particular subject, they put the novice learner in a situation where they must explore to learn.

What is Constructivism?

This theory says that we learn to construct our understanding of any phenomenon through what we glean from our experiences. According to constructivism, we must assume that the learner has a prior schema that has been established through social and familial experiences in the past. Thus, the new knowledge interacts with the existing schema and results in a unique perception for each individual.

Creative Agni’s Courses/Training Programs and Constructivism:

At this point, I am reminded of how I conduct my courses and training programs. The courses/training programs that Creative Agni offers, including the IDCDT course, are designed to have a fair mix of the three important learning theories. Through it’s weekly online discussion forum, the concept assignments, the classroom discussions, and other individual- and group-activities, the participants learn to appreciate diverse views. They deconstruct their prior views, analyze them in the context of their new learning, and establish new constructs. This is why the learners feel confident of the knowledge and skills that they acquire through the course.

Image Credits: Cover Image of Jean Piaget by Anefo (Source: Wikimedia)