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Constructivism: Clearing up the confusion between a theory of learning and “constructing” knowledge

Graham McPhail

The term constructivism is used very widely and somewhat loosely in education. In this article I aim to clarify the term, which can be used in relation to two quite different theories: one related to how we learn and the other related to what we learn. Being clear about the origins of the two uses can help teachers clarify the important distinction between the curriculum (what we teach) and pedagogy (how we teach it).

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