Tag Archives: direct instruction

November 9, 2008, 9:13 pm

Straight talk on constructivism

Hat tip to Darren at Right on the Left Coast for this article, which starts off saying in a plainspoken way:

Here are two of the clues to America’s current mathematics problem:
1.”Student-centered” learning (or “constructivism”)
2.Insufficient practice of basic skills

The article then goes on to say, of constructivism:

In small doses, constructivism can provide flavor to classrooms, but some math professors have told me the approach seems to work better in subjects other than math. That sounds reasonable. The learning of mathematics depends on a logical progression of basic skills. Sixth-graders are not Pythagorus [sic], nor are they math teachers.

That’s right. Constructivism, when used with the right kinds of students and in the right ways, can be quite effective. But it’s important to remember that not all students are ready for this, and not all material is taught effectively …

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