How does the brain develop and learn? Neuroconstructivism and neuroplasticity

Neuroconstructivism and neuroplasticity are two related concepts that describe how the brain develops and learns.

Neuroconstructivism refers to the way in which the brain constructs cognition. According to this framework, representations in the brain emerge within the context of multiple interacting levels: molecular, cellular, bodily, and social events interact and constrain the development of cognitive representations.

Neuroplasticity describes the brain’s adaptability; its capacity to change based on experiences. The brain is constantly changing in response to the environment, through the weakening and strengthening of neural connections. This is true throughout the lifespan, although there are periods of life where there is enhanced neuroplasticity, also known as sensitive periods. Generally speaking, plasticity decreases with age, making learning more challenging as we get older.

1. Mike Hobbiss explores the difference between constructivism and neuroconstructivism in a detailed blog post: ‘Constructivism is a theory of learning, not a theory of pedagogy. Neuroscience explains why this is important’.


Click on the topics below to find out more about the science in the film.

Sleep      ***      Hormonal Changes      ***      Prefrontal Changes
Inhibitory Control      ***      Mental Time Travel      ***      Limbic Changes
Sensation Seeking       ***       Risk taking       ***       Social Development
Theories of Adolescence      ***     Evolution      ***      Mental Health
Neuroconstructivism      ***     Educational Neuroscience


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