Publication 3024

Kelly G. (1997) Research traditions in comparative context: A philosophical challenge to radical constructivism. Science & Education 81(3): 355–375. Fulltext at
Constructivism in science education has incorporated a multitude of perspectives. Many of these perspectives agree with the general assertion that knowledge is constructed. Two such projects are conceptual change theory and radical constructivism. In this article, I distinguish these two traditions based on four issues: ontology; epistemological commitments; view of learners; and authority of received ideas. I bring a philosophy of science perspective to bear, treating conceptual change theory and radical constructivism as Lakatosian research programs. Through this process the philosophical coherence of the radical constructivist research program is brought into question.

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