Constructivism and Teaching Methods
Teaching has been present in society for many decades, even centuries, and at this
point, it seems that certain teaching methods have been accepted as the “best,” or at least
the most used.
However, because students of all ages learn differently and at different
speeds, it is best that more than one method be used.
The change from primarily
textbook lectures, to working in groups, to interactive lesson quizzes could make all the
difference in how some students can learn.
But perhaps an overlooked reason for the
speed or quality of a student’s learning is the prior knowledge that they already have.
learning theory, called Constructivism, where Jean Piaget states that individuals learn
through processes called assimilation and accommodation.
Assimilation is a process
where individuals take new information and integrate it into an already existing frame of
mind, while accommodation changes an individual’s outlook on a topic to fit new
The articles written by Eleanor Duckworth, Deborah Meier, and E. D.
Hirsch will help me to explain why methods of teaching, as well as background
knowledge, are important in learning.
Meier states, “Lots of people want parents and teachers to be more like they were
in the good old days… More demanding, tougher, and more dedicated teachers might
restore the high standards… Let the students face the consequences” (Meier, 1992,
These people feel that if the teachers and parents worked the students harder,
they would learn “better.” But so many new things are available now that were not
available in “the good old days,” that teaching in the same way is not going to happen,
even if mimicked perfectly. New technologies such as the Internet, cell phones, and iPods