ERIC Number: ED426986
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Constructivism in Teacher Education: Considerations for Those Who Would Link Practice to Theory. ERIC Digest.
Constructivism has received considerable attention in educational scholarship, practitioner preparation, and policy formation. This Digest identifies major forms of constructivism, considering issues and challenges that surface when implementing constructivist approaches to preservice and inservice teacher education. Constructivism is an epistemology, a learning or meaning-making theory, that offers an explanation of the nature of knowledge and how humans learn. It maintains that individuals create or construct their own new understandings or knowledge through the interaction of what they already know and believe and the ideas, events, and activities with which they have contact. Constructivist approaches are regarded as producing greater internalization and deeper understanding than traditional methods. Overall, two broad interpretations can be found among contemporary educators: psychological constructivism (articulated by Piaget) and social constructivism (associated with Vygotsky). Constructivism is a theory of learning, not a theory of teaching. The overarching challenge constructivism presents to teachers and teacher educators is translating a learning theory into a theory of teaching, which raises questions about what teachers need to know and be able to do. Educators also face the pitfall of regarding constructivism as the only viable theoretical framework for teaching and learning. Prospective teachers should be exposed to varying perspectives and given opportunities to develop the discretion needed to choose most appropriately and the skills to implement their choices. (Contains 14 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Teaching and Teacher Education, Washington, DC.