Learning Theory of Jean Piaget. He suggested that through processes of accommodation and assimilation, individuals construct new knowledge from their experiences. Assimilation occurs when individuals' experiences are aligned with their internal representation of the world. They assimilate the new experience into an already existing framework. Accommodation is the process of reframing one's mental representation of the external world to fit new experiences. Accommodation can be understood as the mechanism by which failure leads to learning. When we act on the expectation that the world operates in one way and it violates our expectations, we often fail. By accommodating this new experience and reframing our model of the way the world works, we learn from the experience of failure.
see related Constructionism
Risk of becoming New New Math? http://www.weaponsofmathdestruction.com/wmd.cfm?comicID=53 (and earlier pieces)
Donald Clark: His famous four stage developmental model (Sensorimotor, Pre-operational, Concrete and Formal) has been fairly well trashed... What's worrying is the fact that teachers are coming out with a fixed view of child development based on 'ages and stages' that are quite wrong. This leads to amateurish teaching methods and a lack of understanding of when and how to teach Numeracy and literacy (Reading And Writing). The 'Whole Language' teaching fiasco in Elementary School-s was the perfect storm of this amateurish approach.