The Future of Constructivist Education

David Kritt, College of Staten Island
Nancy Budwig, Clark University


We make the case that there is an urgent need to revitalize the reach of constructivist education into both K-12 public schools and higher education. After considering the current state of the theory and practice of constructivist education, we argue that disparities between theory and practice arise from the divergent conceptual-frameworks constructivist theorists and educators hold. To examine this, core aspects of the approach centering on process, agency, and holism are examined, juxtaposing constructivist theory to ostensibly constructivist classroom practices. Disparities between theory and practice arise from the complexity of constructivist theory and difficulties practitioners face in understanding and using it. Drawing on differences between relational-developmental process accounts versus educators' more split-mechanistic framings, we suggest entry points to addressing the chasm between theory and common practice, including the need to explicitly consider how the theory has been elaborated and how it has been presented in order to change the educational dialog.