Deconstructing Constructivism: A Widely Misunderstood and Misapplied Theory of Learning

Good overview, but I wouldn’t call constructivism a theory of learning as such, as it’s more a theory or even better a philosophy about knowledge with as basic question if there is even such a thing as truth as everybody is constructing his or her own knowledge. I also would describe Piaget rather as an inspiration for e.g. Bruner.

Mr. G Mpls

When I completed my teacher licensure coursework only a few years back, I would have characterized myself as a die-hard believer in John Dewey, Alfie Kohn, flexible seating and student-centered learning.  I believed children learned best by doing, that teacher-talk should be limited in a “readers/writers/math workshop,” and that group work and personalized technology were the future of education.

I didn’t realize it at the time – probably because my teaching philosophy was identical to much of my cohort – but I was unwittingly indoctrinated in the educational progressive’s interpretation of constructivism. I assumed what I was being taught in teacher training was best practice, until I started reading books that were not on any of my syllabi. 

I was able to gain some perspective and insight into the history of this philosophy of teaching after reading Education is Upside-Down by Eric Kalenze. In his book, Kalenze traces the…

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