Applying a Constructivist Pedagogy to Design Studio Education

  • Matt Powers


This paper will apply a constructivist philosophical framework to teaching and learning in the landscape architecture studio. First, the paper provides some meanings associated with constructivism followed by the changes in the worldview that affected constructivism. The paper next discusses constructivism in education and defines two variations of it, radical constructivism and social constructivism. Finally, 10 pedagogical principals suggested by constructivists are listed and related to the design studio. The main goal of this paper is to help in the reassessment and redesign of the construction process inherent in teachers, learners, and the studio system. Often, actions of educators are not necessarily guided by an overt knowledge of the reasoning behind these actions. Intuition, successful experiences, and observations: these factors play an important role in influencing the behavior of teachers and, no doubt, often dictate their practice (Murphy 1997). Educators often adopt and utilize a particular approach or method without necessarily having purposely considered the theory or philosophy that underpins it. This paper is important because it helps to guide the development of a philosophical framework unconsciously employed by many design teachers already. This paper reiterates von Glaserfeld’s (1995) comments: “constructivism does not claim to have made earthshaking inventions in the area of education; it merely claims to provide a solid conceptual basis for some of the things that, until now, inspired teachers had to do without theoretical foundation”

How to Cite
Powers, M. (2019). Applying a Constructivist Pedagogy to Design Studio Education. ARCC Conference Repository, 1(1). Retrieved from