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Title: Constructivism 25 years on : its contribution, missed opportunities?
Authors: Gatt, Suzanne
Keywords: Constructivism (Education)
Cognition in children
Science -- Study and teaching
Educational innovations
Curriculum planning
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: University of Malta. Faculty of Education
Citation: Gatt, S. (2005). Constructivism 25 years on: its contribution, missed opportunities?. University of Malta. Faculty of Education, 1-6.
Abstract: Science Educators have endorsed and advocated adopting a constructivist approach in science teaching for these past 25 years. This is indicated by the massive research published during this period about children’s ideas and describing teaching schemes developed within a constructivist framework.. Yet, as the PISA results [14] highlight, students’ performance across the world vary widely and too many students still lack the basic scientific literacy needed to understand and apply basic scientific principles to contexts. The aim of this paper is to review the development of constructivist learning theory highlighting its main contributions. The main approaches: cognitive conflict; scaffolding; and metacognition will be each discussed in detail. However, like any other theory, constructivism has its shortcomings, particularly in treating the learning context in a holistic way within a sociological perspective. Reasons for which constructivism has not brought about the significant improvement in the understanding of science as predicted by science educators will be put forward. Possible directions that constructivism can take up in dealing with the new demands of the social impact that major current scientific research such as cloning is making, will be proposed.
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