From Traditional to Constructivist Epistemologies: A proposed theoretical framework based on activity theory for learning communities

David Hung
Seng-Chee Tan
Thiam-Seng Koh


This article is concerned with how learning communities are transformed as they evolve from traditional learning epistemologies towards constructivist orientations and pedagogies. Adopting activity theory as a framework, the article discusses how transformations take place through a two-way process of appropriation (learning from one another as a two-way interaction process) at both the social-collective and individual-leaner levels of interaction and cognition. We distinguish transformations at two levels: context and process, acknowledging overlaps between the two. Context transformations involve the macro-level activity system, whereas process transformations are concerned with in-situ micro-level changes. Through the concept of activity systems, we hope to illustrate how evolving transformations are captured from a historical frame of reference. The article also discusses technologies as enablers within a proposed framework in support of such epistemological transformations.



The explosion of social media has allowed for new ways to foster and create learning communities by allowing students and instructors to share resources and communicate outside the classroom in order to provide interconnectedness between both content and environment.

APA Citation

Hung, D., Tan, S., & Koh, T. (2006). From traditional to constructivist epistemologies: A proposed theoretical framework based on activity theory for learning communities. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 17(1), 37-55.

About the Study

Links to Article
Mode Technology-enhanced
Publication Type Journal Article
In Publication Journal of Interactive Learning Research
Type of Research Theoretical
Research Design Not applicable
Intervention/Areas of Study
Level of Analysis Student-level
Specific Populations Examined
Peer-Reviewed Yes
Specific Institutional Characteristics of Interest
Specific Course or Program Characteristics
Outcome Variables of Interest
Student Sample Size
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