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Topic: Constructivist Caution
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Ed Dickey

Posts: 96
Registered: 12/4/04
Constructivist Caution
Posted: Feb 5, 1997 5:15 AM
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The Feb 1997 issue of Phi Delta Kappan includes an article titled
"Constructivist Caution" by Peter Airasian and Mary Walsh. The
authors discuss the challenges of implementing constructivist theory in
the classroom.

Using the "Kim Mackey Method," I'll tease out a few quotes from the

"Do not fall into the trap of believing that constructivist
instructional techniques provide the sole means by which students
construct meanings. This is not the case. ... What teacher has not
taught a didactic, rote-oriented topic or concept only to find that the
students constructed a variety of very different meanings from those
anticipated by the teacher?

[The authors then point out how the constructivist view on memorization
and rote learing is misunderstood by quoting von Glasersfeld who
states:] 'There are , indeed, matters that can and perhaps must be
learned in a purely mechanical way.' [The authors continue:] "One's
task is to find the right balance between the activities of constructing
and receiveing knowledge, given that not all aspects of a subject can or
should be taught in the same way or be acquired solely through
'hands-on' or student-centered means."

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