Applying constructivist learning theory pretty much rips apart the way we do school.
Learning theory says that the learner must make meaning of new information. To do that she needs context — a way to connect new input to what she knows already. Not this-will-be-useful-later appeals, but real connection — like reaching a personal goal, satisfying curiosity, or doing something that really matters (to the learner).
Learning theory says the learner needs to work the new information — apply it; reflect on it; change it — in order to fasten it to her existing knowledge network.
Where in school do students work information in authentic contexts? Athletics; student publications; theater/arts productions; vocational ed; clubs/activities. These experiences — considered peripheral to the mission of school — create powerful learning for students, the stuff that sticks throughout their lives.
Can math be as compelling as football? If not, we’re just wasting time.