Constructionism is a learning approach developed by Seymour Papert. Papert has worked with Piaget, who is credited with the theory of constructivism. Constructionism includes everything associated with Piaget constructivism, and beyond it to assert that constructionism learning happens especially well when people are engaged actively in what they are doing. It is more of hands on learning. For example, someone explains to you how to take apart a computer or you actually take apart a computer with guidance. The learner sees the product, the computer, being constructed. Papert coined the phrase “Learning-by-making.” This learning must also be shared with others in order for the full effects of constructionism learning to take place. When you have to explain something to someone else you may have to do it in different ways so that the person understands what you are trying to explain due to different styles of learning. You may have to research the subject more, draw diagrams, and talk to other people. You must know the subject frontwards and backwards.

Constructionism learning involves students drawing their own conclusions through creative experimentation. The teacher becomes a guide, answering questions and playing a passive role. The teacher becomes secondary to learning hands on. This replaces teaching “at” students.

The learning environment should be supportive and challenging to the learner. The learner is to take ownership of learning, and the teacher is a coach. The goal is to help the learner become an effective thinker so in other situations such as work, play or life in general, the learner can effectively solve their own problems. This is a lifetime skill.

Constructionism has been mainly used in science and mathematics. Recently it has been used in the field of second language acquisition. A few examples of how constructionism has had a large impact on computer science are Logo, Smalltalk, Etoys, Scratch and Stalogo TMG.

Wikipedia: constructionism