Serious Discussion About Constructivist Pedagogy

I agree with this, I think: “The constructivist-direct instruction characterization is a false dichotomy, and trying to operationalize something as complex and contextually varied as teaching in such simplistic terms seems to me a mistake. What is needed is not coarse labeling of artificially grouped approaches to instruction; but an iterative program of studies that enables us to better characterize specific features of effective teaching in different learning contexts. Indeed, I have argued that to some extent, such a program is already underway within constructivist work in science education (Taber, 2009b) – but that may not be how some people wish to understand constructivism.”

I’ve been struck at how Peer Instruction and Deliberate Practice look a little like DI and a little like Constructivism. It’s tempting to resort to “best of both worlds” banalities, but that would be wrong. These terms have always been too blunt when you get down to the classroom level; there’s not actually two separate worlds to pull from.

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