ERIC Number: ED422422
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Education, Diversity, and Constructivism: A Pragmatic Point of View.
Vanderstraeten, Raf; Biesta, Gert
In education, constructivist theories of knowledge have stimulated research, especially in the fields of mathematics and science education. Less attention has been given to the implications of constructivist epistemology for the overall concepts that guide education, such as the ideals of general or civic education or about the canon. This paper considers the more fundamental levels of the debate about the educational significance of a constructivist understanding of knowledge. The main aim is to make clear the way in which a constructivist approach cannot be used. It is argued that there is no such thing as an "epistemology of knowledge construction," and that, because of this, a consistent constructivism cannot be deployed as an overarching theory about the variety of constructed points of view. The main point of reference in the paper is the educational philosophy of John Dewey. Dewey presented a transactional constructivism that can account for both the subjective and intersubjective dimensions of the process of knowledge construction in a coherent way. Although Dewey's work contains an excellent clarification of the process of knowledge construction, it is not the only constructivist paradigm. The radical constructivism of von Glasersfeld and the approach of J. Banks are discussed. The constructivist reconceptualization of education leads to an increased awareness of the ethical dimension of education as it raises awareness of the complexity of education. (Contains 46 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Spencer Foundation, Chicago, IL.
Authoring Institution: N/A