Instructive or Constructive Teaching Approaches in the Economic Education?

  • Rolf Dubs


Even if the polarizing discussion about instructive and constructive teaching approaches is widely overcome, some misapprehensions still seem to distort the discourse. Thereby thesis, like the future of teaching would only lie in self-directed, process-oriented, casuistic and interdisciplinary learning (predominantly constructivist paradigms) and instructed, product-oriented, systematic and discipline-oriented instructive teaching and learning would be replaced, emerge. This absoluteness is challenged in this article. Possibly the trend towards "moderate constructivism" alludes to which one of both approaches will succeed in future. Though hands-on and self-directed learning in complex problem situations plays a central role in constructivist theories, because it opens ranges of options and contributes to a holistic understanding of coherences, this type of learning still requires a certain amount of instructed knowledge. Self-directed learning therefore excludes a completely independent process of content and goal setting by learners in order that education does not get lost in arbitrariness. Here, instruction is not understood as decided tutorial for teaching and learning, but teacher-conducted stimuli that are supposed to assist the formation of significant knowledge and the process of gaining competencies.