Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities:
Constructivism or Behaviorism
Carol E. Lanier
Child Psychology 235
Ms Desiree Polk-Bland
March 28, 2011
There is a lot of controversy concerning the use of constructivist and behaviorist principles for teaching children with learning disabilities. Although many educators support the use of one paradigm exclusively, the author recommends combining ideas from both perspectives for the most effective instruction. This article includes a brief discussion of learning disabilities, a summary of key constructivist and behaviorist principles and their impact on students with learning disabilities, and a list of recommendations for practice in the classroom.
Key Words: Learning disabilities , constructivist, behaviorist and education
There is a major debate in the field of education and special education concerning theories and related approaches in teaching: constructivism and behaviorism. Constructivism is an educational theory that places emphases on the role of students learning, and behaviorism is an psychological approach that emphases on behavior by observing the student. It is typical in the educational field to challenge a position, dismiss it and then embrace a new trend as if there were no valid theories represented in the first place. Often strategies incorporate ideas from different theoretical perspectives; therefore, it is best to take some ideas from each theory for practice purposes in the classroom. It is more beneficial to make a curricular and...
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