Teacher Education Faculty Publications

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Source

The Praeger Handbook of Education and Psychology


Constructivism has been discussed from multiple perspectives, including philosophical, psychological, social, and educational. These perspectives, of course, overlap when we shape what we do in the day-to-day realities of teaching and learning. The perspective that I bring to this chapter describing the professional development of teachers is that constructivism is a theory of learning that suggests that individuals make meaning of the world through an ongoing interaction between what they already know and believe and what they experience. In other words, learners actively construct knowledge through interactions in the environment as individuals and as members of groups.

It is from this understanding of constructivism that I describe how professional development of teachers can be guided by constructivist principles of learning. It is worth noting here that the literature on constructivism has predominantly addressed students in PK-12 settings. An understanding of how teachers learn is critical to substantive and ongoing improvement of instruction in schools. It is with that premise in mind that I offer vignettes and related thoughts on the professional development of teachers through a constructivist lens.

Inclusive pages




Document Version

Published Version


Citation information:

  • Praeger Handbook of Education and Psychology: Vol. 2. Joe L. Kincheloe, ed., Raymond A. Horn Jr., ed. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2007.

Chapter 38 is made available for download from this repository with permission of ABC-CLIO, LLC, Santa Barbara, CA. Permission documentation is on file


Praeger Publishers



Place of Publication

Westport, CT