Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Education




Namukasa, Immaculate


Since the development of the theory of constructivism from the work of educators Piaget, Brunner and Vygotsky, constructivism has also influenced pedagogical practice. Unlike the traditional approaches of teaching, constructivism encourages learners to construct their own knowledge and take control of their own learning. Although constructivism is widely accepted among teachers, teachers may have misunderstanding/misinterpretation of constructivism which leads to teaching practices that devalue students’ prior knowledge and experiences. This qualitative study examined elementary school teachers’ understanding and practice of constructivism. Data were collected from semi-structured interview, classroom observations, and analysis of teachers’ lesson plans. Findings from the interview showed that teachers understood constructivism as one of many theories that guide their teaching. Classroom observations showed that teachers practiced many approaches including teacher-centered. Teachers also had different understanding/different interpretation of constructivist principles such as knowledge collaboration, authentic activities, problem-solving, and teachers’ role as coaches. Constructivist principles such as metacognition, apprenticeship, and exploration were absent from teachers’ practices. Consistency and inconsistencies was also noticed among teachers.