Constructivist learning theory believes that the student should be actively engaged in the learning process and that incorporating activities such as exploring and questioning enhance the learning process.
Constructivism is based on the tenant that each student creates their own learning and knowledge from the course. Each student takes away what they feel is important from the course and uses that knowledge in subsequent situations.
Constructivism is based on the instructional goal of cognitive development and a deeper understanding of the topic to enable the student to solve problems, rather than on creating new behavior or skills.
Constructivism theory also believes that a students culture will affect the learning process and how they create new learning. This belief is important as it acknowledges that for each student the learning process and the objects learned will be different.
Students bring many experiences and knowledge to any course, and it is through this experience that they make sense of the new material they learn. Therefore, the student experience is paramount to the constructivist learning process.
According to constructivism theory, each student brings their individual perspective to the course, based on their own beliefs. To enhance learning based on these beliefs, the instructor plays the role of facilitator rather than teacher.
An example of using constructivist learning theory would be for a course on leadership, that instead of teaching just basic history, skills, or principles of leadership, that you would instead teach students through problem-solving situations that they provide based on their own experiences. Then if you were using social constructivism, you would have the students work in table groups to solve problems and then provide them teach back opportunities to share what they have learned.