Demystifying "Constructivism" Teasing Unnecessary Baggage from Useful Pedagogy

From: Volume 6, Issue 1: Spring 2009, Field Education Pages 87-111


The term constructivism is commonly used in the field of education. As a solely pedagogical term, it is helpful in understanding the human learning process. Yet, the term is often bundled together with a variety of overlooked or unconsidered philosophical assumptions that are unnecessary and often detrimental to its pedagogical underpinnings. Many educators unwittingly adopt the concept without understanding or fully delineating what form of constructivism they embrace. This article provides a simple background to help the educator recognize the many permutations of constructivism and helps them to tease out the philosophical baggage that often seems indelibly etched into the concept. Educators must learn to embrace the helpful pedagogy while critically determining for themselves whether to accept the attached baggage.



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