Communal Constructivism


Co-construction of social reality

Principal Metaphors

  • Knowledge is … social constructs (the meaning of an object or event by a community)
  • Knowing is … appropriate acting
  • Learner is … a participant (individual and/or collective)
  • Learning is … participating (in the construction of a social reality)
  • Teaching is … co-participating




Communal Constructivism is, in essence, an expanded definition of Social Constructivism, with two key elaborations. Firstly, current advances in information technology are taken into account, especially around matters of enhanced virtual learning environments through advances in communication tools and increased information storage. Secondly, Communal Constructivism couples an emphasis on building knowledge with each other to building for one another.


With its close alignment to Social Constructivism, Communal Constructivism is subject to the same cluster of criticisms. In particular, like Social Constructivism, Communal Constructivism maintains an assumption that learning happens inside individuals. While the theory includes focused considerations of impacts and amplifications through digital technologies, it does not interrogate the internal/external dualism inherited from Correspondence Discourses.

Authors and/or Prominent Influences

Bryn Holmes

Status as a Theory of Learning

See Social Constructivism.

Status as a Theory of Teaching

See Social Constructivism.

Status as a Scientific Theory

See Social Constructivism.

Map Location

Please cite this article as:
Davis, B., & Francis, K. (2019). “Communal Constructivism” in Discourses on Learning in Education.

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