What Is Neoconstructivism?


  • Adapted from the Introduction to S. P. Johnson (Ed.). (2010). Neoconstructivism: The New Science of Cognitive Development. New York: Oxford University Press.

concerning this article should be addressed to Nora S. Newcombe, Department of Psychology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122; e-mail: newcombe@temple.edu.


Abstract— Piaget’s theory is no longer the dominant approach to cognitive development. Instead, many leading theorists now embrace some version of nativism. There are several alternatives to nativism, however. This article argues that neoconstructivism is an umbrella term that covers these alternatives. It delineates the essential elements of this style of thinking and outlines some key differences among neoconstructivist theories.