| Von Glasersfeld's answers - November 2006  |



I am writing a paper on constructivism in the classroom and have three questions.

1. What are some criticisms of constructivism?
2. What studies have been completed on a constructivist classroom to show that this style of teaching works?
3. What further studies need to be conducted?

Thank you and hope to hear from you soon.

Mark Hawkins M.Ed.

Dear Mr. Hawkins,
I am very busy at the moment so I can only refer you to
readings in answer to your questions 2 and 3.
Qu.1 Most critics did not read enough about constructivism to
have understood it's main ideas. They claim that it denies
reality (which is not the case) and that it's unethical because it
doesn't tell students what's right and what's wrong (they hate any
kind of relativism). You'll find a good example if you go to
www.KJF.ca   and choose TA78 C56 (Kozloff).
Qu.2 Read chapter 10 in E.v.G. 'Radical constructivism, a way
of knowing and learning (Falmer Press, 1995) or Glasersfeld,
E. von (1989) Cognition, construction of knowledge, and
teaching,. Synthese, 80 (1), 121-140. and the book I edited:
Radical constructivism in mathematics education. Dordrecht:
Kluwer, 1991.
Qu.3 Studies testing understanding rather than the ability to
repeat what has been heard or read.

Best wishes,

Ernst von Glasersfeld



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