Are constructivst theories of learning narrow or is it
your interpretation of the people writing articles
about it that appears narrow?
If it has a place in education, it's place is in all
curricula. Certainly the shapeshifting article you
posted, Henry, gives us that imperative.
The real issue here is not repeating theory but to use
these ideas to grapple with the changes that are
required in education. Constructivism is just a word.
What we bring to the word is a part of our mental set.
If we are really constructivist in our thinking and
practice, we allow open-ended inquiry as part of our
practice. Does it mean there isn't a place for other
kinds of learning and teaching? It's all part of a
continuum. The problem as I see it is that the current
structure of schools keeps us locked into obsolete
models of teaching and learning because of habit,
fear, ignorance, and peer pressure.
The bottom line is that our practices in education,
whether in the art room or elsewhere, do not match the
activity of the brain. Until there is more and better
correlations to our neural activity, it doesn't matter
what it's called. The model doesn't work as it is!!
Constructivism gives us a way out of the box we're in
to reconstruct our interactions in the classroom. It
is shape shifting - we'll bring the old tools and
materials and use them differently. That is
constructivism. It's anything but narrow.
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