Publication 7274

Hyde B. (2020) Constructivist and constructionist epistemologies in a globalised world: Clarifying the constructs [Constructivism]. In: Zajda J. (ed.) Globalisation, ideology and education reforms. Globalisation, Comparative Education and Policy Research, vol 20. Springer, Dordrecht: 125–138. Fulltext at
This chapter sets out to provide conceptual clarity around these two epistemological stances by comparing constructivism with constructionism in relation to three particular categories – (1) their origins and epistemological premises, (2) their ontologies, and (3) their purposes. It then proceeds to articulate some implications concerning the use of each epistemology to contribute to research in the field of education and to the notion of globalisation more generally. It notes in particular the positive contribution of constructionism in bringing about educational reforms and in taking a critical view towards the taken-for-granted notion of globalisation discourses. It shows how constructionism can make a positive contribution to research agendas that seek to bring about educational reform to improve the quality of teaching and learning and contribute to the betterment of societies precisely because it questions the very notions of globalisation, competitive market forces and the universalising of markets and production. Constructionist pedagogies may then be discerned and implemented as the result of the correct alignment of the theoretical perspective, research methodology and data collecting strategies with the constructionist epistemology. In making the important distinction between constructivism and constructionism, this chapter makes a significant contribution to the refinement of theories of knowledge, and to their usage in qualitative research in education to bring about improved learning and teaching to contribute positively to the betterment of societies in a globalised world.

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