Over the past decade, a number of new conceptualizations of learning have entered the literature. These include various forms of constructivism such as "cognitive constructivism" and "social constructivism" as well as "sociocultural approaches" to learning. Unfortunately, differences among these approaches, in addition to differences between these approaches and more familiar cognitive psychological and information-processing frameworks have sometimes been blurred or misconstrued as those attempting to understand the new have incorporated aspects of these approaches into their previously held conceptualizations without adequately distinguishing subtle, but critical, differences.
The purposes of this special issue are to shed greater light on differences among new and familiar approaches to understanding classroom learning and to highlight the contributions to and limitations of these approaches for understanding classroom learning. To achieve these purposes, contributors were asked to present key features as well as strengths and limitations of various frameworks for understanding classroom learning. These articles represent the current though often fluid thinking in the ongoing process of evolving knowledge about classroom learning.