In this article, we address implications of constructivism for teaching writing to students with special needs. Specifically, whole language and process approaches to writing instruction, the two most popular composition programs based on the principles of constructivism, are examined. Benefits of these two programs include frequent and meaningful writing, creation of environmental conditions that support self-regulated learning, and emphasis on the integrative nature of learning in literacy development. These benefits may be weakened, however, by an overreliance on incidental learning and by a lack of emphasis on the mechanics of writing. Recommendations for whole language and process writing as well as traditional writing instruction are offered.
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