[IAEP] inquiry on constructionism advantages

Maria Droujkova droujkova at gmail.com
Tue Sep 29 07:59:30 EDT 2009

You may want to use Jo Boaler's longitudinal study of two British poor
neighborhood schools, one using procedural math and another project-based
math. Kids in the project school did significantly better on standardized
tests, and had higher-than-national passing rate (which is incredible given
low socioeconomic status). There is a lot of various statistics there,
including the fact that project-based learning removed the gender gap. I can
send you a review of the book I just did for a grant. While not directly
about constructionism, the practices and ideals, as described, are very


Boaler, J. (2002). Experiencing School Mathematics: Traditional and Reform
Approaches To Teaching and Their Impact on Student Learning, Revised and
Expanded Edition (Rev Enl.). Lawrence Erlbaum.

Maria Droujkova

Make math your own, to make your own math.

On Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 12:51 PM, Yamandu Ploskonka <yamaplos at gmail.com>wrote:

> I have received an inquiry on implementing constructionism from a high
> official in the Bolivian government.
> Since my opinion may be biased :-), I request you help us with clear,
> simple and please objective answers (no vapor-stuff), if at all possible
> 1) How do constructionist pupils do on standardized tests, such as
> University entrance exams.  (please inform about other demographic
> situations besides children of highly trained scholars - most Bolivian
> kids do not fit THAT bracket, alas)
> 2) How do they do with usual classroom tests, especially in the
> University.
> Core question is, are alumni of constructionism better, or at least
> competitive there?  What evidence do we have to prove this?
> 3) Is there any evidence (objective, unbiased) as to the impact of
> constructionism in education?  The big maybe here is further impact on
> development, yes ? (I may be mistaken here, please correct)
> 4) any other solid, statistically valid data supporting constructionism
> Please avoid treatises - I will be presenting this this week, and if
> anyone would volunteer, it may be possible to put you directly in touch
> with this official and/or his staff.  It is, or should be widely known
> that I see the current conctructionist stance within OLPC and Sugar as a
> misguided, feel-good attempt that is bound to do more harm to most kids
> than good compared to what could be achieved with a solid
> curricular-content approach, but I honestly would be happier I were
> mistaken, if determined by solid evidence.
> I looooove constructionism, it just doesn't seem to me to be what kids
> need, and all in all, I wish it worked, but I cannot prove it does for
> most kids. I am certain, but cannot prove either, that it does work
> within classrooms with highly trained teachers, or for gifted kids, or
> when there is a lot of educated support from home, in any case not a
> basis to adopt it for a country like Bolivia.
> Yama
> _______________________________________________
> IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
> IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org
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