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Constructivism is a philosophy and theory describing how knowledge is acquired. In this entry, constructivism is first described in general with respect to education at the elementary, middle school, high school, and college levels. It is then discussed with respect to early childhood education because early education has its own history, especially at the kindergarten and prekindergarten levels. The emphasis in Grades 1 through 3 is on the 3 Rs, but preschool education has a long tradition of “child development” with an emphasis on play.

Many definitions of constructivism have been proposed, but the following ideas can be found in all descriptions, according to James Pelech and Gail Pieper:

  • People do not discover knowledge; they build it from within.
  • People create knowledge by connecting new information to their ...
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