Is Constructivism the Best Philosophy for Education?

Essay by ReggaeyouthUniversity, Master'sA, February 2010

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State the main pro ideas:Constructivism may be defined as a learning philosophy whereby the emphasis is placed on the learner or the student rather than the teacher or the instructor. Clinical development professor David Elkind contends that the philosophical positions found in constructivism, though difficult to apply, are necessary elements in a meaningful reform of educational practices. The author used various well known researchers to substantiate his view point. These researchers include Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky and Jerome Bruner. They have basically contented that constructivism is indeed the best approach for students. They have compared the constructivist theory with the traditional instructional models. The researchers pointed out that traditional models place emphasis on knowledge transmission without producing deeper levels of understanding and internalization. Basically, they believe that students should not be like sponges just soaking what the teacher has taught but they should take responsibility for their learning. Students should be able to invent their own solutions and try out ideas and hypotheses.

State the main con ideas:The author highlighted that there are three forms of readiness that must be in alignment if constructivism is to be successful and if these fail, then constructivism fails. In terms of teacher readiness, it has been argued that those teachers who try to implement the constructivist method in the classroom are blocked by unsupportive teachers. There also has to be thorough understanding of the curriculum. If teachers do not have a comprehensive knowledge of the curriculum they will not know the level which the curriculum is most suited for. Teachers should be able to match the child's level of mental development to the subject matter. The society has to also be able to adapt to the change. For such a pedagogy to be implemented it would need the support of parents and...