At the American Education Research Association annual meeting in April, Clive Beck, Clare Kosnik and members of their research team received an award from the AERA Constructivist SIG for a submission based on their longitudinal study of 40 teachers. This study, which began in 2004, has been funded by four successive SSHRC grants and will continue for at least two more years; it is one of the most extensive longitudinal studies of teachers ever conducted. Also in April, a chapter on longitudinal research written by Clive, Clare and Elizabeth Rosales was published in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia, Education.
I (Clare) am writing with my research team a paper about literacy teacher educators who use a constructivist approach. I found this amazing quote from Virginia Richardson which seems to succinctly sum up the challenge. I thought I would share it with you because it helped clarify some of the issues.
Constructivist teaching as a theory or practice, however, has only received attention for approximately one decade. Current interest and writing in constructivist teaching leave many issues unresolved. These issues relate, in part, to the difficulty in translating a theory of learning into a theory or practice of teaching, a conversion that has always been difficult and less than satisfactory. However, the nature of constructivism as an individual or group meaning-making process renders this conversion remarkably demanding (Richardson, 2003, p. 1623).