Constructivism is a learning theory based on the notion that students actively construct knowledge. This view of learning calls for a dramatic lessening of reliance on a didactic, textbook-based, ‘transmission’ of knowledge approach to teaching and learning in the classroom. It also challenges popular views about the nature of knowledge. The fact that constructivism rejects commonplace views about knowledge, however, does not mean that it embraces a relativistic or anything-goes approach. What is also clear is that constructivists who endorse views that oppose the mainstream view—who argue, in other words, that worthwhile knowledge tends to be complex rather than simple, open to question rather than certain—are more likely than acknowledged to promote disagreement among experts about how best to conceptualize knowledge.

Research shows that these core ...

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