Cognitive Constructivism and Experiential Learning in the Ancient Indian Educational System.

July 25, 2019

What is Constructivism?

Constructivism says each learner constructs his/her own knowledge – that is, learners don’t just passively absorb the information available to them. Even though cognitive constructivism is attributed to Jean Piaget, all key aspects of this modern learning theory were embedded in the ancient Indian educational system.

Cognitive constructivism emphasizes that learning is an active process. It should be whole, authentic, & real. There is less emphasis on direct instruction and more emphasis is on learning in a meaningful context; therefore, the new knowledge is built on prior knowledge.

Constructivism in Chandogya Upanishad

For example, in Chandogya Upanishad, in a teaching situation, we see Uddataka Aruni effectively implements the most advanced educational principles such as a) maximum participation of the learner b) usage of deductive method and c) use of proper teaching aids.

In a nutshell, the spirit of enquiry, that was employed in Upanishads, has led the ancient sages to question experience, to question the environing world, to fearlessly question their gods and the tenants of their traditional faiths.

No wonder the ancient Indian educational system demonstrates all essential factors of cognitive constructivism & experiential learning: a) learning used to take place in authentic and real-world environments; b) content and skills were made relevant to the student; c) content and skills were understood within the framework of the students’ prior knowledge; d) students were encouraged to become self-regulatory, self-mediated, and self-aware; e) teachers served primarily as guides and facilitators of learning, not instructors; f) teachers always provided for and encouraged multiple perspectives and representations of content.

How Does Constructivism Work in i-Max?

i-Max modules are designed to make learning an active process and not a passive activity. ITI i-Max engages multiple senses at the same time. They help learners construct their own positive knowledge about their specialised area of engineering and the stories associated with it.