Constructivist Learning in a nutshell

In constructivism, learning is considered to be an active knowledge construction process that builds upon knowledge already possessed by the learner. Because knowledge is constructed by the individual through his or her interactions with their environment, learning methods cannot be prescribed (Von Glaserfeld, 1983; 1995).

Principally, teachers cannot teach knowledge, rather they take on the role of coaches who help the learners to acquire knowledge themselves. Von Glasersfeld (1989 p.162) describes constructivism as a "theory of knowledge with roots in philosophy, psychology and cybernetics. It asserts two main principles whose application has far-reaching consequences for the study of cognitive development and learning as well as for the practice of teaching

[..]. The two principles are:

(1) knowledge is not passively received but actively built up by the cognizing subject;

(2) the function of cognition is adaptive and serves the organization of the experiential world, not the discovery of ontological reality.”

Thus, emphasis is on knowledge and cognition as a means for the organization of experience, rather than on a holistic functioning based on the assimilation of experience. Although innumerable pages could be filled to characterize constructivist learning principles, further discourse is postponed until the main section where a constructivist feature list proposed by Murphy (1997) is used to guide the comparison with the Person-Centered Approach.