Given its widespread use and universal familiarity, the term education system can fall prey to what psychologist call the “illusion of knowledge”—or the tendency for people to think they have a better understanding of something than they actually do. For example, most people would say they understand what a teacher is and does, yet—if pressed—many people would not be able to explain precisely what people need to do to become certified as teachers, how state policies and requirements may dictate or influence what teachers teach in a course, what specific instructional methods are commonly used by teachers and which seem to work best, how educational research informs new instructional approaches, or how certain kinds of professional development can improve teaching effectiveness in a school, among many other things. When investigating or reporting on education reforms, it may be useful to look for more concrete, understandable, and relatable ways to describe abstract concepts such as education system .
Educational psychologists distinguish between several types of constructivism : individual (or psychological) constructivism, such as Piaget's theory of cognitive development , and social constructivism . This form of constructivism has a primary focus on how learners construct their own meaning from new information, as they interact with reality and with other learners who bring different perspectives. Constructivist learning environments require students to use their prior knowledge and experiences to formulate new, related, and/or adaptive concepts in learning (Termos, 2012  ). Under this framework the role of the teacher becomes that of a facilitator, providing guidance so that learners can construct their own knowledge. Constructivist educators must make sure that the prior learning experiences are appropriate and related to the concepts being taught. Jonassen (1997) suggests "well-structured" learning environments are useful for novice learners and that "ill-structured" environments are only useful for more advanced learners. Educators utilizing a constructivist perspective may emphasize an active learning environment that may incorporate learner centered problem-based learning , project-based learning , and inquiry-based learning , ideally involving real-world scenarios, in which students are actively engaged in critical thinking activities. An illustrative discussion and example can be found in the 1980s deployment of constructivist cognitive learning in computer literacy, which involved programming as an instrument of learning.  :224 LOGO , a programming language, embodied an attempt to integrate Piagetan ideas with computers and technology.   Initially there were broad, hopeful claims, including "perhaps the most controversial claim" that it would "improve general problem-solving skills" across disciplines.  :238 However, LOGO programming skills did not consistently yield cognitive benefits.  :238 It was "not as concrete" as advocates claimed, it privileged "one form of reasoning over all others," and it was difficult to apply the thinking activity to non- LOGO -based activities.  By the late 1980s, LOGO and other similar programming languages had lost their novelty and dominance and were gradually de-emphasized amid criticisms.