Publication 5405

Forster P. (1999) Applying constructivist theory to practice in a technology-based learning environment. Mathematics Education Research Journal 11(2): 81–93. Fulltext at
This paper describes a research study where constructivism was used as the rationale for the design, implementation and evaluation of four technology-based investigations for Year 12 Applicable Mathematics students. Analysis is given of the successes and difficulties encountered by students and teachers of four classes, including my own, in which the investigations were implemented. The results showed that, for learning activities involving school assessment, many students chose not to work collaboratively – a strategy suggested by social constructivism. The extent to which this may have been detrimental to their learning is discussed. The study illustrates how engaging in research can be a means for teachers to understand theory. In particular, the paper describes the meaning made of constructivism through this example of teaching practice and research activity.


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