Publication 7535

Taber K. S. (2016) Constructivism in education: Interpretations and criticisms from science education. In: Railean E. (ed.) Handbook of applied learning theory and design in modern education. IGI Global, Hershey PA: 116–144. Fulltext at https://cepa.info/7535
Constructivism has been widely adopted as a referent for research, curriculum development and recommended pedagogy in education. This chapter considers key issues relating to the adoption of constructivist thinking in education which have arisen within the field of science education. Constructivism has been mooted as a dominant paradigm in science education, where it has informed a major research programme over some decades. However, the application of constructivist ideas in science education has also been subject to a range of critiques. This chapter gives an outline of the developing influence of constructivism in science education, and the common understandings of the term in relation to science teaching and learning; it reports on the main areas where the influence of constructivist thinking has been heavily criticised, and discusses how these criticisms are countered within the research programme; it considers some major directions for research within the research programme; and it evaluates the level of influence of constructivism in contemporary science education practice.

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