Skip to content

Understanding requires ideas to have context

It isn't enough to see or hear about a new concept in order to understand it. Instead, the concept needs to be actively explored. The learner should find analogies, find connections to existing knowledge, work through the implications of the new idea, and so on. The more thoroughly the idea is explored, the deeper the understanding will become.

Understanding things within their context is a core idea within Constructivism. Understanding needs active learner engagement. Together, this means that Constructivist teachers adopt a support role.

Both the lack of context and the lack of engagement are reasons why transmissionism doesn't work


If you want to really understand an idea, you have to grapple with it.

You can’t just read something, listen to a lecture, or hear a notion in a conversation. You’ve got to wonder: where does this apply and where does it not? What are the implications? What are the assumptions? Whose view is represented here? What does this refute? etc