Opinion
Reading & Literacy Letter to the Editor

Constructivist Learning Needs Further Study

October 02, 2012 1 min read

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

Events

Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
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.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How to Power Your Curriculum With Digital Books
Register for this can’t miss session looking at best practices for utilizing digital books to support their curriculum.
Content provided by OverDrive
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.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Embracing Student Engagement: The Pathway to Post-Pandemic Learning
As schools emerge from remote learning, educators are understandably worried about content and skills that students would otherwise have learned under normal circumstances. This raises the very real possibility that children will face endless hours
Content provided by Newsela

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 Popular 'Wonders' Curriculum Shows Gaps in Alignment to Reading Research
A new review claims that the curriculum has gaps in its alignment to reading research, and doesn't offer enough supports for teachers.
6 min read
Image of a girl selecting a book in the library.
Hakase_/iStock/Getty
Reading & Literacy Pandemic Prompts Some States to Pass Struggling 3rd Graders
As families wrestle with online learning, a pandemic economy and mental health difficulties, some states are delaying 3rd grade retention.
Aallyah Wright, Stateline.org
8 min read
The Mississippi Department of Education offices are seen in Jackson, Miss. on March 19, 2020. The state's board of education decided this winter that it would suspend the retention policy for third graders this year, allowing all students to pass on to the fourth grade even if they fail the standardized reading test.
The Mississippi Department of Education offices are seen in Jackson, Miss. The state's board of education decided this winter that it would suspend the retention policy for 3rd graders this year, allowing all students to pass on to the 4th grade even if they fail the standardized reading test.
Rogelio V. Solis/AP
Reading & Literacy Opinion Seven Strategies for Grammar Instruction
Five educators share instructional strategies for engaging and effective grammar instruction.
14 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Reading & Literacy Spotlight Spotlight on Literacy & Language Education
In this Spotlight, review what may be missing in teacher training and the supports offered to students plus more.