Can constructivist teories of learning and knowledge be a basis for contemporary instruction? Dr. Leopoldina Plut Pregelj
Summary: The aim of this contribution is an attempt to answer two questions: 1. Can constructivist theories of learning and knowledge be a basis for instruction? and 2. Why is there such an interest for constructivism among the educational researchers? The answer to the first question could be summarized in the statement that constructivist theories of learning are not only a productive basis for instruction, but also a necessary approach (didactic constructivism) for formation of students’ knowledge with understanding. Didactic (pedagogic) constructivism, which is grounded in the post-positivistic philosophies of the 20th century and also in the pedagogic tradition, demands (a) students’ mental activity, understanding of content and making sense of knowledge, (b) multiplicity of teaching methods, which only under certain conditions assure better knowledge with understanding, and (c) individual responsibility of students as well as teachers for the results of learning. The interest in the constructivist teaching approach stems from direct classroom praxis and its problems (inadequate quality of students’ knowledge). Educational researchers who tried to understand the processes of processes the formation of knowledge in the classroom and resolve instructional problems, found out that teaching approaches based on constructivist learning theories were necessary and exceedingly useful, but not quite suficient for directing the entire instructional process. Didactic constructivism, which does not deal with the instructional goals and content, can’t replace the curriculum and theories and philosophy of education.