Publication 3652

Thomas R. S. D. (1994) Radical constructive criticisms of von Glasersfeld’s radical constructivism. In: Ernest E. (ed.) Constructing mathematical knowledge: Epistemology and mathematics education. Falmer Press, London: 36–43. Fulltext at
Excerpt: Being grateful to von Glasersfeld for having pointed out to me what I now accept, I have no desire to attack radical constructivism. There are, however, three ways in which I find it seriously, even radically, deficient, and I want in this chapter to set them out in the hope that my doing so will be some use where I, and apparently von Glasersfeld, care most about usefulness, in education. These deficiencies are a lack of due emphasis on the construction of the self, whether over against the world or as a part of it, the denial of the possibility of knowledge of the world, and von Glasersfeld’s ignoring of the massive social assistance in one’s construction of one’s notion of the world. The latter two of these deficiencies have considerable importance for education, and that is my reason for airing my criticisms in this place.

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