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Constructivism vs. Direct instruction

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  1. Constructivism.
  2. The problem with constructivism.
  3. Direction Instruction (DI).
  4. Conclusions.

Childhood education is an issue of overwhelming importance, so it is no surprise that schools, governments, parents, and teachers have closely examined child psychology, social psychology, and even neurology in order to determine how school curricula should be best developed. Early theories of transmission have been superceded by constructivist theories and by theories of direct instruction (DI), but too often the theories that inform learning in the classroom are chosen for reasons other than effectiveness. Ease of use, social necessities, and an orientation toward the very best achievers as opposed to the "average" student, for example, have all led to constructivism being touted as the psychological theory upon which school learning should be based, even though learning often fails. Direct Instruction is likely a better theoretical basis upon which to create school curricula and teacher training

[...] B. Lahey & A. E. Kazdin (Eds.), Advances in clinical and child psychology (Vol pp. 429-473). New York: Plenum. Carnine, D., Grossen, B., & Silbert, J. (1994). "Direct instruction to accelerate cognitive growth." In J. Block, T Gluskey & S. Everson (Eds.), Choosing research based school improvement innovations. New York: Scholastic. Carroll J. B. (1963). model for school learning." Teachers College Record 64: 723-733. Engelmann, S. (1980). Direct instruction. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology. [...]

[...] The problem with constructivism Kirschner et al (2006) is worth quoting at length: A number of reviews of empirical studies have established a solid research- based case against the use of instruction with minimal guidance. Although an extensive review of those studies is outside the scope of this article, Mayer (2004) recently reviewed evidence from studies conducted from 1950 to the late 1980s comparing pure discovery learning, defined as unguided, problem-based instruction, with guided forms of instruction. He suggested that in each decade since the mid-1950s, when empirical studies provided solid evidence that the then popular unguided approach did not work, a similar approach popped up under a different name with the cycle then repeating itself. [...]

[...] For example we might want to play guitar. We might have watched videos of famed rock stars countless times. However, the first time we pick up a guitar, we will not be able to imitate what they do Motivational processes. Though we have acquired knowledge of a behavior we do not necessarily imitate the behavior. In other words, we see people do many things that we would not dream of imitating. So what leads to imitation? The motivation to imitate depends on whether we think we can perform the behavior and what we think will happen to us if we do. [...]

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