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.
Copyright © 2006, Joe L. Kincheloe and Raymond A. Horn Jr., eds. All rights reserved.
Place of Publication
Kinnucan-Welsch, Kathryn, "Reconsidering Teacher Professional Development Through Constructivist Principles" (2007). Teacher Education Faculty Publications. 9.
Elementary Education and Teaching Commons, Junior High, Intermediate, Middle School Education and Teaching Commons, Other Teacher Education and Professional Development Commons, Pre-Elementary, Early Childhood, Kindergarten Teacher Education Commons, Secondary Education and Teaching Commons