In Search of Understanding: The Case for Constructivist Classrooms

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The activities that transpire within the classroom either help or hinder students' learning. Any meaningful discussion of educational renewal, therefore, must focus explicitly and directly on the classroom, and on the teaching and learning that occur within it. This book presents a case for the development of classrooms in which students are encouraged to construct deep understandings of important concepts. Jacqueline Grennon Brooks and Martin Brooks present a new set of images for educational settings, images that emerge from student engagement, interaction, reflection, and construction. They have considerable experience in creating constructivist educational settings and conducting research on those settings. Authentic examples are provided throughout the book, as are suggestions for administrators, teachers, and policymakers. For the new edition of their popular book, the authors have written an introduction that places their work in today's educational renewal setting. Today, they urge, the case for constructivist classrooms is much stronger and the need more critical.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871203588
  • Publisher: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development
  • Publication date: 1/28/1999
  • Pages: 136
  • Sales rank: 413,476
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.06 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Table of Contents



1. Honoring the Learning Process.
2. Considering the Possibilities.
3. Coming to Know One's World.


4. Posing Problems of Emerging Relevance to Students.
5. Structuring Learning around Primary Concepts: The Quest for Essence.
6. Seeking and Valuing Students' Points of View.
7. Adapting Curriculum to Address Students' Suppositions.
8. Assessing Student Learning in the Context of Teaching.


9. Becoming a Constructivist Teacher.
10. Pursuing Meaningful Victories.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2004

    A Poor Case for Constructivist Classrooms

    The authors demonstrated little understanding of constructivism except for the use of highbrow terminology when attempting to describe the concept. The book is an indictment of current teaching predicated on the author's notions of the state of today's education paradigm. No statistical or empirical evidence is presented, but the book is replete with unsubstantiated opinion and citing of experts whom they on many occasions contradict. If you have to buy the book, translate it into english and ask yourself what the true message of the authors is.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2004

    Delightful book

    I found this book entirely by accident as I was preparing a university course on the Political Economy of Education. Once I started reading I couldn't put it down. Except for eating and sleeping I read it through in a little over a day. Unlike the previous reviewer I found it easy to read and inspiring. Partly this was undoubtedly because I found many of my own views affirmed in the text, both with respect to the critique of the way the usual classroom operates ('one mouth, many ears and half as many hands') and with respect to the way teaching should be subordinated to learning. I also liked the examples given, even though they are generally taken from classrooms of children much younger than those I work with. Reading the book had an immediate impact on how I have organized my new course: as a seminar with students graded on class participation, research, and compiled dossiers of things they have written about the materials we have read, analyzed and discussed. To date (after about a month) the course is going extremely well with lots of lively discussion and enthusiastic student input.

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