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Inside a constructivist classroom

1 January 1996


This research examined how three learning disabled students participated in a constructivist classroom using discovery learning. Recent research indicates that special education reform is focusing on a more constructivist approach and how emerging practices, such as discovery learning, are making learning more meaningful for students identified as learning disabled (Ensminger & Dangel, 1992).

My research centered on two questions. What does discovery learning look like in a constructivist classroom? And, how do learning disabled students engage in discovery learning?

Research methods included informal interviews with the building principal, the Resource Room teacher, my mentor teacher, and the three LD students. My findings suggested that students with mild learning disabilities can benefit from a constructivist approach to learning; however, when there are more serious issues complicating a student's ability to learn, a constructivist model of instruction may not always be suitable.


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