Constructivist Epistemology in Action


  • Muthu Kumar



In alignment with the challenges of knowledge-based economies of today, teachers are compelled to constantly revise traditional notions of learning in order to motivate students to find delight in the active creation, exploration, and discovery of disciplinary knowledge. In examining innovative philosophies of education, constructivism stands out as one much heralded alternative that has been widely promoted in recent times in attempts at moving away from old ways of instruction and their attendant limitations. By empowering learners to be self-directed, in theory, a learning model underpinned by constructivist principles undoubtedly offers an array of attractive pedagogical benefits. However, the real-time implementation of such a model within the constraints of classroom contexts could potentially be problematic. In this paper, some of the conundrums associated with the application of constructivist ideas in learning environments are discussed. A constructivism oriented instructional framework that tries to bridge the chasm between theory and practice is also elucidated in this paper. This framework suggests a repertoire of heuristic instructional strategies that facilitate students' independent construction of various classes of scientific knowledge.