Publication 4160

Ernest P. (1995) The one and the many. In: Steffe L. & Gale J. (eds.) Constructivism in Education. Lawrence Erlbaum, New York: 459–486. Fulltext at
Excerpt: I use the pre-Socratics’ contrast of the one and the many as my organizing theme. It fits well with the aim of this chapter: to offer both an analysis and synthesis of half of the preceding contributions. Synthesis constructs unity (the one), whereas analysis turns out to suggest diversity (the many). Starting with “the one,” I consider what different positions in constructivism have in common. Then I consider “the many” – analyzing some salient differences between different constructivist positions (and a few others). Finally, I offer a synthesis, “the one” again, identifying what seem to be deeply shared themes, problems and points of growth for constructivism, and alternative epistemologies in education.

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