Constructivism and Its Discontents: An Interview

About a month ago, I was interviewed by one of my doctoral students, Emmanuel Mensah, for his qualitative social science research project on constructivism and teaching. I was shooting from the hip in a casual, coffee-shop environment, but I think I managed to think through some things, and make some distinctions, that I hadn’t done before. My comments follow closely to a talk I gave at Wabash College in February, titled “The Teacher-Centered Classroom.”

For those who find the term ‘constructivism’ foreign, suffice it to say that nearly every teacher education program in the United States — and many of its schools, colleges, and universities — claim this term and its key (and painfully unclear) concepts as a dogmatic truth of sorts.

In this interview I call that “truth” into serious question.