Publication 4205

Richardson V. (2003) Constructivist pedagogy. Teachers College Record 105(9): 1623–1640. Fulltext at
This article constitutes a critique from the inside of constructivist pedagogy. It begins with a short history of constructivist pedagogy and its relationship to constructivist learning theory. It then addresses four issues in the ways in which constructivist pedagogy are being approached in research and practice. The first issue recommends more of a research focus on student learning in classrooms that engage in constructivist pedagogy. The second leads to the suggestion of theory development that provides an understanding and descriptions of more and less effective constructivist teaching. The third centers on the necessarily deep subject matter knowledge required of teachers who adopt constructivist pedagogy; and the difficulty this requirement imposes on elementary teachers who must deal with many subject matter areas. And the fourth issue raises the possibility that the vision of constructivist pedagogy, as presently recommended, if not mandated, locally and nationally, is strongly ideological and may impose, inappropriately, a dominant view of pedagogy on those who wish to operate differently.

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