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Volume 31, Issue 1 (2002)

A Review and Analysis of Constructivism for School-Based Practice

pp. 53—70

Abstract. Constructivism, a multifaceted philosophical position on the nature of knowledge and educational practice, has recently emerged both in the literature on learning and in school reform efforts, despite no strong supporting research base.At present, four major perspectives on constructivism in classrooms may be identified.They are the perspectives of Piaget and Vygotsky as well as social and holistic constructivism. Because school psychologists may be asked to work in a constructivist framework, one purpose of this article is to describe the essential characteristics and difficult issues associated with implementing this approach for classroom practice. Included are goals, assumptions about learners, essential teacher skills, and research concerns. A second purpose is a discussion of the implications for school psychologists, highlighting currently recommended school psychology practices that may address important concerns within a constructivist approach.Recommendations for consultation and intervention, needs of students with learning difficulties, and assessment issues are addressed.

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