X-Message-Number: 19198
References: <>
Date: Mon, 3 Jun 2002 16:14:47 +0200
From: David Stodolsky <>
Subject: Re: Constructivism

>Message #19186
>Date: Sat, 1 Jun 2002 09:17:49 -0700 (PDT)
>From: Scott Badger <>
>Subject: Re: Constructivism

>Your use of the word "constructivist" is bit different
>from the way I see it applied here in the Department
>of Science Education. I understand my colleagues to
>mean that learning is enhanced for our students when
>they construct scientific principles rather than
>having them verbally transmitted. Instead of being
>given the answer to a problem in advance through
>lectures, then doing a lab confirming what the
>professor already told them, our students (to a great
>degree) are given a problem, then required to derive
>the principle at work. No, they are not allowed to
>ultimately arrive at the wrong answer, but the
>learning tends to stick better when they're exposed to
>an activity / experiment where the results are
>consistent, yet counterintuitive. Misconceptions are
>exposed and attacked through reflective judgement.

>Anyway, is there some connection between this
>constructivism and that which you addressed in your
>message? Because we try to teach our students how to
>measure, collect, analyze and interpret empirical
>data. We do not promote relativism which seems to be
>what you're referring to. Am I right?

Relativism is to a certain extent unavoidable in any social science,
including education, since certain value assumptions must be included in
its foundations.

Are the terms, "learning to learn", "quality", "meeting needs", and
"learning organization" prominent? Is the "high court of economic
rationality" and the "entrepreneurial self" on the agenda? Then you could
be in trouble.

The author below suggests that this orientation can lead to the acceptance
of death as "natural" and in reality hides a soft totalitarianism.

I heard him speak last week:
Professor Jan Masschelein, Dept. of Educational Sciences, University of Leuven
What is an adequate education in a globalized world?


The Journal of philosophy of education, a quarterly of the Philosophy of
Education Society of Great Britain, contains, in most of its recent issues,
several articles that could be of interest for those concerned with
citizenship education.

The themes of two other articles in this issue could also be relevant for
citizenship education. The first is a critical discussion by Jan
Masschelein from the University of Leuven on the discourse of 'the learning
society', which is very popular in European policy on life long learning.
He argues that this discourse - for which he uses a book edited by Stewart
Ranson, Inside the Learning Society - leads in its consequences to the loss
of the critical value of education. The implicit functionalism and
instrumentalism of this discourse on 'the learning society' opposes the
idea of Bildung, which presupposes a distance between learning subject and
social environment.


David S. Stodolsky, PhD    PGP: 0x35490763    

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=19198