Publication 7203

Van Geert P. (2017) Constructivist theories. In: Hopkins B., Geangu E. & Linkenauger S. (eds.) The Cambridge encyclopedia of child development. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 19–34. Fulltext at
Constructivism refers to a rather loose and fuzzy collection of approaches to development, human action and particularly education, including the theories of Piaget and Vygotsky. In this entry, we shall first focus on the meaning of “construction” and ‘structure, ’ and explain how these concepts relate to developmental change. Then, the concept of structure will be discussed from the perspective of the concepts of function and agency, and we shall explain how the relationship between these concepts can lead to a theory of development. Finally, we discuss a number of questions that arise from this particular view on the nature of development.

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