[IAEP] Concise explanation of Constructionism from the Learning Team

Edward Cherlin echerlin at gmail.com
Sat Aug 16 18:03:02 EDT 2008

On Fri, Aug 15, 2008 at 10:52 PM, Albert Cahalan <acahalan at gmail.com> wrote:
> Seth Woodworth writes:
>> [Future of Learning Group]
>>> We are developing "Constructionism" as a theory of learning and
>>> education. Constructionism is based on two different senses of
>>> "construction." It is grounded in the idea that people learn by
>>> actively constructing new knowledge, rather than having information
>>> "poured" into their heads. Moreover, constructionism asserts that
>>> people learn with particular effectiveness when they are engaged
>>> in constructing personally meaningful artifacts (such as computer
>>> programs, animations, or robots).
>> I thought that this explination was concise and really interesting.
>> I would love to explain this to people who want to desige activities,
>> just to give them a little snapshot of the concept.  Does anyone have
>> a problem with this deffinition? Does anyone have an improvement?
> Yes.
> That definition sounds lovely, like a politician's speech.
> It's all feel-good stuff that matches up perfectly with how
> we **desire** education to work.
> Unfortunately, the cold hard facts don't support the ideas.
> In study after study, including the largest educational study
> ever done, the ideas have been proven to fail.

Links or it never happened, Albert. I have asked you over and over
what your evidence is, and you have never yet replied.

> Better:
> Constructionism is a failed educational theory which promoted
> the feel-good idea that people would reinvent human knowledge
> though personally meaningful exploration. Constructionism is
> commonly used to hide both teacher and student deficiency in a
> sea of confusion, allowing the avoidance of necessary learning.
> Through the use of vague open-ended projects without instruction,
> the brighter students are brought down to the level of the dimmest
> students. The resulting lack of education is hidden by avoiding
> reproducable tests.
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And Children are my nation.
The Cosmos is my dwelling place,
And Truth my destination.

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