Publication 6734

Knuth R. & Cunningham D. J. (1993) Tools for constructivism. In: Duffy T. M., Lowyck J. & Jonassen D. H. (eds.) Designing environments for constructive learning. Springer-Verlag, Berlin: 163–188. Fulltext at
Excerpt: Within the last few years, a distinctly different body of theory has begun to attract the attention of the field of instructional design and development – constructivism. A recent publication (Duffy and Jonassen, in press), as well as this volume, attests to the willingness of the field to explore the implications of these theories for instructional design. As with most labels, the term constructivism (as well as other labels often regarded as synonymous with it like experientialism, semiotics, relativism, etc.) hides the diversity of viewpoints that one will find, from moderate to extreme, to use Merrill’s (1991) characterization. In this paper, we would like to explore the implications of an undoubtedly extreme version of constructivism. in part because we believe it is a very powerful model, but also because it questions the very foundations underlying such diverse disciplines as biology, psychology, cognitive science and education. In other words, we relish the debate that this model usually provokes and feel strongly that such debate will cause others, even those not persuaded to our view, to rethink their own theoretical preferences.

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