The purpose of this web site was to provide a knowledge base
on the constructivist approach to teaching mathematics. A review of the literature revealed the
- The traditional,
behaviorist-based instructional approach fails to coincide with currently
accepted ideas about how students learn mathematics. For many, it fails to foster high
achievement in mathematics and to prepare for life in today’s
technology-based society. These
concerns have helped shape recommendations by organizations such as the
NCTM for changes in instructional approaches.
NCTM advocates the implementation of a constructivist approach, which
emphasizes understanding and meaningful learning.
adoption of constructivist methods results in a number of fundamental
changes in mathematics education, including changes in typical lesson
structure, in the roles of teachers and students, in assessment practices
and through technology integration.
- The constructivist approach coincides well with
currently accepted views on mathematical learning, has positive impacts on
student achievement in mathematics, and prepares students for life in a
technology-based society. There are
also a number of challenges associated with it. These include resistance
to role changes, lack of guidance for teachers, lack of structure for
students, limited appropriate use in terms of content and student
differences, issues relating to standardized testing, a tendency to result
in group thinking, and a general lack of teacher training on this new
The information presented through
this web site was intended to answer common questions that teachers have about
adopting a constructivist approach to mathematics education. It is hoped that once teachers have this
knowledge base, they will be able to make better informed decisions as to
whether the constructivist approach is appropriate for them and their students.