Publication 1531

Glasersfeld E. von (2001) Constructivisme radical et enseignement. Revue Canadienne de l’enseignement des sciences, des mathématiques et des technologies 1(2): 211–222. Fulltext at
The author examines education from a constructivist perspective, assuming that its goal is independent thinking rather than the maintenance of the status quo. He distinguishes training from teaching, stressing that only the latter is concerned with understanding. Concepts and conceptual structures are seen as the material of understanding, and their dependence on language and subjective interpretations is presented. The belief that words refer to observer-independent things rather than to speakers’ and listeners’ experiences is seen as one of the age-old obstacles to conceptual education. After a brief mention of important steps in the history of epistemology, the naïve realism of popular writings on science and science textbooks is shown to be incompatible with the ideas of the great scientists of the last century, whose views were remarkably close to constructivism. The construction of concepts is illustrated by an example from visual perception, the conceptual formation of a well-known constellation, and the construction of pluralities. An examination of these constructions yields principles that may be of interest to educators. These principles are then illustrated by means of a didactic experiment in physics teaching.
Key words: education, philosophy
Reprinted in: Perspectives 31(2): 191–204, English translation: Radical constructivism and teaching. Unpublished

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