Radical constructivism

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Radical constructivism is an approach to epistemology that situates knowledge in terms of knowers' experience. It looks to break with the conception of knowledge as a correspondence between a knower's understanding of their experience and the world beyond that experience. Adopting a sceptical position towards correspondence as in principle impossible to verify because one cannot access the world beyond one's experience in order to test the relation, radical constructivists look to redefine epistemology in terms of the viability[1] of knowledge within knowers' experience.[2][3] This break from the traditional framing of epistemology differentiates it from "trivial"[4] forms of constructivism that emphasise the role of the knower in constructing knowledge while maintaining the traditional perspective of knowledge in terms of correspondence. Radical constructivism has been described as a "post-epistemological" position.[2][5]

Radical constructivism was initially formulated by Ernst von Glasersfeld, who drew on the work of Jean Piaget, Giambattista Vico, and George Berkeley amongst others.[6][7] Radical constructivism is closely related to second-order cybernetics,[8] and especially the work of Heinz von Foerster, Humberto Maturana, and Francisco Varela. During the 1980s, Siegfried J. Schmidt played a leading role in establishing radical constructivism as a paradigm within the German speaking academic world.[9][10]

Radical constructivism has been influential in educational research[11][12] and the philosophy of science.[13]

Constructivist Foundations is a free online journal publishing peer-reviewed articles on radical constructivism by researchers from multiple domains.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Glasersfeld, E. von (1980). Viability and the concept of selection. American Psychologist, 35(11), 970-974. http://www.vonglasersfeld.com/060
  2. ^ a b Glasersfeld, E. von. (1990). An exposition of constructivism: Why some like it radical. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education Monograph, 4, 19-29. https://doi.org/10.2307/749910
  3. ^ Glasersfeld, Ernst von. (1984). An introduction to radical constructivism. In P. Watzlawick (Ed.), The invented reality (pp. 17-40). Norton. http://www.vonglasersfeld.com/070.1
  4. ^ Glasersfeld, Ernst von (1991). Knowing without metaphysics: Aspects of the radical constructivist position. In F. Steier (Ed.), Research and reflexivity (pp. 12-29). Sage. Page 17.
  5. ^ Noddings, N. (1990). Chapter 1: Constructivism in Mathematics Education. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education. Monograph, 4, 7–210. https://doi.org/10.2307/749909
  6. ^ Glasersfeld E. von (2007) Aspects of constructivism: Vico, Berkeley, Piaget. In: Glasersfeld E. von, Key works in radical constructivism. Sense, Rotterdam: 91–99. Originally published in Italian as: Glasersfeld E. von (1992) Aspetti del costruttivismo: Vico, Berkeley, Piaget. In: Ceruti M. (ed.) Evoluzione e conoscenza. Lubrina, Bergamo: 421–432.
  7. ^ Glasersfeld, Ernst von (1974). Piaget and the radical constructivist epistemology. In C. D. Smock & E. von Glasersfeld (Eds.), Epistemology and education (pp. 1-24). Follow Through Publications.
  8. ^ Glanville, R. (2013). Radical constructivism = second order cybernetics. Cybernetics and Human Knowing, 19(4), 27-42.
  9. ^ Riegler A. (2015) What does the future hold for radical constructivism? In: Raskin J. D., Bridges S. K. & Kahn J. S. (eds.) Studies in meaning 5: Perturbing the status quo in constructivist psychology. Pace University Press, New York: 64–90.
  10. ^ Müller K. H. (2010) The radical constructivist movement and its network formations. Constructivist Foundations 6(1): 31–39. http://constructivist.info/6/1/031
  11. ^ Riegler, A., & Steffe, L. P. (2014). “What Is the Teacher Trying to Teach Students if They Are All Busy Constructing Their Own Private Worlds?”: Introduction to the Special Issue. Constructivist Foundations 9(3), 297-301.
  12. ^ Glasersfeld, E. von (1989). Constructivism in education. In T. Husen & T. N. Postlethwaite (Eds.), The international encyclopedia of education, supplementary volume I (pp. 162-163). Pergamon Press. http://www.vonglasersfeld.com/114
  13. ^ Glanville, R. (2001). An observing science. Foundations of Science, 6(1), 45-75. https://doi.org/10.1023/a:1011353225749

Further reading[edit]

  • Foerster, H. von, & Poerksen, B. (2002). Understanding systems (K. Leube, Trans.). Kluwer Academic.
  • Glanville, R. (2007). The importance of being Ernst. Constructivist Foundations, 2(2/3), 5-6. http://constructivist.info/2/2-3/005.glanville
  • Glasersfeld, E. von (1995). Radical constructivism: A way of knowing and learning. Routledge Falmer.
  • Glasersfeld, E. von. (1984). An introduction to radical constructivism. In P. Watzlawick (Ed.), The invented reality (pp. 17-40). Norton. http://www.vonglasersfeld.com/070.1
  • Glasersfeld, E. von. (1990). An exposition of constructivism: Why some like it radical. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education Monograph, 4, 19-29. https://doi.org/10.2307/749910
  • Poerksen, B. (2004). The Certainty of Uncertainty: Dialogues Introducing Constructivism. Ingram Pub Services.