There is a long, civilized (contrary to what my pun might imply) and enlightening debate going on at Kitchen Table Math about a math professor's discovery and use of a new-fangled (but really same old hat) method called POGIL (Process Guided-Inquiry Learning).
NSF-funded POGIL promises to extend constructivism to higher education. Reading POGIL's description of itself makes it clear that it is the same constructivist boilerplate so nauseatingly familiar to those who had the misfortune to be dragged through ed school.
"Recent developments in cognitive learning theory as well as results of classroom research suggest that most students experience improved learning when they are actively engaged and when they are given the opportunity to construct their own knowledge. These results counter the widespread misapprehension that effective teaching must be instructor-centered, involving the transfer of content directly from the expert (professor) to the novice (student). More "student-centered" approaches to learning are based on the premises that students will learn better when: they are actively engaged and thinking in class; they construct knowledge and draw conclusions by analyzing data and discussing ideas; they learn how to work together to understand concepts and solve problems; and the instructor serves as a facilitator to assist students in the learning process."
As the math professor discusses at his own site and in this debate, he finds useful elements in the method. But is his approach still POGIL?
Kitchen Table Math is a lively site I am addicted to. I highly recomend it.