Publication 3891

Morf A. (1998) An epistemology for didactics: Speculations on situating a concept. In: Larochelle M., Bednarz N. & Garrison J. (eds.) Constructivism in education. Cambridge University Press, New York NY: 29–42. Fulltext at
Excerpt: The relationship between constructivist epistemology and teaching is uneasy, as is often evidenced by the dissatisfaction or irritation which arises in discussions over didactics. This essay has been written with a dual objective in mind: The first consists in tentatively suggesting one possible explanation for the difficulties encountered in transposing constructivism into teaching practice, the second in proposing a number of speculations as to what might constitute a more relevant, if somewhat makeshift, type of epistemology for pursuing reflection on didactics. At the outset, however, I wish to exclude from this debate the case of specialists who have seized on constructivism to advocate respectable didactic principles which are merely compatible with this current of thought and nothing more. Take, for example, their insistence on the necessity of students’ participation in the reconstruction of knowledge, a principle which has been applied in various ways from the days of the venerable Active School down to the present. It is not constructivism’s duty to supply up-to-date arguments to pedagogical ideologies of even the most well-reasoned variety.

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