Publication 3023

Grandy R. E. (1997) Constructivisms and objectivity: Disentangling metaphysics from pedagogy. Science & Education 6(1–2): 43–53. Fulltext at
We can distinguish the claims of cognitive constructivism from those of metaphysical constructivism, which is almost entirely irrelevant to science education. Cognitive constructivism has strong empirical support and indicates important directions for changing science instruction. It implies that teachers need to be cognizant of representational, motivational and epistemic dimensions which can restrict or promote student learning. The resulting set of tasks for a science teacher are considerably larger and more complex than on the older more traditional conception, but the resources of cognitive sciences and the history of science can provide important parts of the teachers intellectual tool kit. A critical part of this conception of science education is that students must develop the skills to participate in epistemic interchanges. They must be provided opportunities and materials to develop those skills and the classroom community must have the appropriate features of an objective epistemic community.

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