Publication 6981

Roth W.-M. (1993) In the name of constructivism: Science education research and the construction of local knowledge. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 30(7): 799–803. Fulltext at
Excerpt: In a recent issue of this journal, Lawson et al. (1991) provide experimental evidence that knowledge is the result of intraindividual construction rather than being given in objects or subject as such. In spite of this claim, the Lawson et al. construction is at variance with the ontological, epistemological, and methodological choices of many constructivists in epistemol-ogy, evaluation, or the sociology of knowledge (Guba & Lincoln, 1989; Knorr-Cetina, 1981; von Glasersfeld, 1987). Thus, the knowledge constructed by Lawson et al. seems to have little bearing on what we classroom teachers do on a daily basis. In the following paragraphs I will reflect on the ontology, epistemology, and methodology apparent in the Lawson et al. study and end by setting this type of research in relation to classroom practice. Ultimately, these comments are meant as a contribution to the discourse within our scientific community, a discourse that “is viewed as the most important mechanism for testing knowledge claims” (Prawat, 1991, p. 742).

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