The construction of knowledge is something that is paramount to learning. Lev Vygotsky, the great Russian educational theorist in conjunction with other pedagogical leaders built the idea of constructing knowledge. Constructivism is the theory that we build knowledge based upon what we knew before, our culture
and our current skills. Ultimately, this theory believes that we are active creators of our own knowledge. This theory supports hands-on learning with open-ended tasks.
Vygotsky further focused on the way that culture impacts learning through a Zone of Proximal Development. The ZPD is made up of two levels. The first is the range of tasks that students can do without support and the second level is what a student can do only with support.Beyond that level is what a child cannot do at all at this current point.
As time goes on students need less scaffolding and eventually can complete this task on their own. By scaffolding learning, students can move from one Zone of Proximal Development.
Both constructivism and Vygostky’s ZPD are major factors in modern education and especially in inquiry-based models such as the IB. For more information see these websites below: