In Brief:
A constructivist pedagogy which emphasises the learners readiness
to enter the curriculum viewed as a spiral of ever expanding complexity.


Jerome Bruner (1915 - ) developed a theory of cognitive growth which looked at environmental and experiential factors. He saw children as active problem solvers who are ready to go beyond what is expected of them. He suggested that intellectual ability developed by continual, step-by-step changes in how the mind is used to solve problems.

Bruner thought of a curriculum as a spiral, and influenced by science and mathematics, he believed that concepts should be revisited (as in a spiral) with ever expanding degrees of complexity. By revisiting areas of the curriculum, student can continually develop their understanding and problem solving capabilities. Bruner believed that concepts in the curriculum should be linked and that these links were made explicit to students.

From Bruner's seminal "The Process of Education" (1960) emerged four key themes:

Structure of Learning
how things are connected rather than isolated facts

Readiness for Learning
Spiral curriculum

Intuitive & Analytical Thinking
Developing the intuitive thinking, rather than going through the process analytically.

Bruner argued for children to be intrinsically satisfied and motivated by the subject matter, rather than motivated by test scores or "for the future"


Key Ideas

Children constuct meaning through experiences at different Stages of Cognitive Development
by adaptation... which is assimilation and accommodation of new understandings into schema.

What next?

A student of Jerome Bruner, Howard Gardner's and 'Multiple Intelligences'