Reading & Literacy Letter to the Editor

Constructivist Learning Needs Further Study

October 02, 2012 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

I listened in on a Sept. 19, 2012, Education Week-hosted webinar sponsored and presented by Cambium Learning/Voyager Vice President Stevan Kukic (“Using RTI & Data-Driven Strategies in the Common-Core Era,” Sept. 19, 2012). I am very appreciative of Mr. Kukic’s acknowledgment that targeted interventions are vital for the success of our schools. He is correct on this point. I am concerned, however, that Cambium Learning has applied scientific findings associated with early reading instruction to reading intervention for middle and high school students.

Has Mr. Kukic read the National Reading Panel report? It acknowledged that more phonics and decoding instruction was not found effective beyond grade 4, yet Mr. Kukic suggested that middle school students struggle with reading because they cannot process multisyllabic words. He also dismissed “constructivist” approaches to reading improvement without demonstrating an understanding of what constructivist approaches are all about. (He inferred that explicit phonics instruction is not involved or recommended—this is not correct.)

It is time for public discussion on what constructivist learning is and is not. The depth and breadth of misunderstanding of constructivist learning, as demonstrated by Mr. Kukic, is impeding progress in American education.

Want to know why schools are struggling? Because reading theory is flawed—and reading researchers are dismissing their own data.

Rhonda Stone

Message Development Specialist

Read Right Systems

Shelton, Wash.

A version of this article appeared in the October 03, 2012 edition of Education Week as Constructivist Learning Needs Further Study


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Classroom Technology Webinar
Academic Integrity in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
As AI writing tools rapidly evolve, learn how to set standards and expectations for your students on their use.
Content provided by Turnitin
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Chronic Teacher Shortage: Where Do We Go From Here?  
Join Peter DeWitt, Michael Fullan, and guests for expert insights into finding solutions for the teacher shortage.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Reading & Literacy Webinar
The Science of Reading: Tools to Build Reading Proficiency
The Science of Reading has taken education by storm. Learn how Dr. Miranda Blount transformed literacy instruction in her state.
Content provided by hand2mind

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Reading & Literacy Download How to Integrate Writing Throughout Your Elementary Reading Program (Download)
Our resource can help orient your classroom, building, or district's approach to elementary-level writing instruction.
1 min read
Close crop of an elementary school, black girl in class focused on writing in a book.
Reading & Literacy English Teachers Should Teach More Nonfiction, National Group Says. Here's How
Nonfiction memoirs, essays, and journalism can enrich students' perspectives, says the National Council of Teachers of English.
6 min read
Hispanic school teacher reading aloud to her young students
Reading & Literacy How Does Writing Fit Into the ‘Science of Reading’?
Writing in the early grades is often segmented off from reading. Research suggests teaching them together is both efficient and effective.
7 min read
White and Black elementary girls sitting side by side at their desks and writing in their notebooks while having a class at school. Their classmates are in the  blurred background.