Abbott M. L. & Fouts J. T. (2003) Constructivist teaching and student achievement: The results of a school level classroom observation study in Washington. Technical Report #5. Washington School Research Center, Lynnwood WA. https://cepa.info/4658
This study built on a 2001–02 classroom observation study of Washington K-12 and technical schools that identified the extent of constructivist teaching activity. Results from classroom observations found that strong constructivist teaching was observable in 17 percent of the classroom lessons. The other 83 percent of the lessons observed may have contained some elements of constructivist teaching, but up to one-half had very little or no elements of constructivist teaching present. More constructivist teaching appeared to occur in alternative schools and integrated subject matter classes. There appeared to be no differences among elementary, middle/junior, and high schools in the degree to which constructivist practices were used. This study explored the relationship of this practice to student achievement, examining the percent of variance in student achievement accounted for by constructivist teaching beyond that contributed by low-income. Data came from the original observation study and from school-level standardized test scores of 4th, 7th, and 10th graders. Results found large correlations between study variables (a negative correlation between school-level family income and student achievement, large positive correlations between constructivist teaching and student achievement, and a negative correlation between constructivist teaching and school-level family income).
Alexander P. C. & Neimeyer G. J. (1989) Constructivism and family therapy. International Journal of Personal Construct Psychology 2(2): 111–121. https://cepa.info/5468
Personal construct and family systems theories can profit from an exchange of ideas concerning the relationship between their personal and interpersonal aspects of construction. This article examines three possible points of contact between the two orientations. First, we suggest that personal construct psychology could profit from addressing the important contributions of the family context to the development of each individual’s system. Second, we address the impact of the person’s constructions on the larger family system. Third, we suggest that the family system itself develops a system of shared constructions that define and bind its identity and interactions. Each of these areas of interface carries implications for therapy, and specific intervention techniques corresponding to each of these are discussed.
Atkinson B. J. & Heath A. W. (1990) Further thoughts on second-order family therapy – This time it’s personal. Family Process 29: 145–155. https://cepa.info/4097
A series of articles has recently appeared in which implications of second-order cybernetics for the practice of family therapy have been discussed. In this article, we attempt to advance the discussion by addressing ideas that we think have not been adequately emphasized thus far. Specifically proposed are ideas about conditions that might facilitate the emergence of consciously pragmatic strategy informed by the kind of systemic wisdom that delicately balances natural systems without the benefit of human planning. It is argued that a shift in the personal habits of knowing and acting that typically organize individual human experience is required. After attempting to specify what this shift might involve, implications of these ideas for the practice of family therapy and for human action in general are discussed.
Balsemão Pires E. (2011) A individuação da sociedade moderna (The individuation of modern society). Coimbra University Press, Coimbra. https://cepa.info/1139
The book uses the method and categories of systems theory (inspired by Niklas Luhmann) in a scrutiny of the evolution of the main semantic trends of modern society and its influence in the formation of the systemic boundaries of the social systems of society. The book is an investigation of the meaning of the functional differentiation according to its semantic symptoms and evolution. In order to reconstruct the semantic evolution of basic modern socio-economic categories the book is divided according to the three classic branches of the political philosophy of the classic tradition, the Aristotelian division also conserved in Hegel’s own distribution of the themes of his “Sittlichkeit” – family, civil society and the state. Thus, in “The Individuation of Modern Society” the author explores the classic notion of oikós and its opposition to the pólis, the evolution of the concept of utility in modern times and its importance to the formation of the modern political economy and the economic system as an autonomous functional system, the idea of “civil society,” its meaning in the Hegelian description of the social modernity, the fragmentation of XVIIIth century civil society according to the use of the term “Entzweiung” in the Hegelian philosophical vocabulary, and the formation of the concept of the nation as a self-referential condition of the political system. The book finishes with a discussion of Niklas Luhmann’s theory of functional differentiation and his concept of the political system. Relevance: The book applies second-order cybernetics to the analysis of the evolution of modern social systems, especially in the case of the formation of self-referential conditions for the observation and reproduction of the systems.
Baquedano C. & Fabar C. (2017) Author’s Response: Multiple Views in Search of Unifying Models. Constructivist Foundations 12(2): 186–189. https://cepa.info/4074
Upshot: We respond to three main challenges that the commentaries have raised. Firstly, we clarify our misunderstood intention of introducing a newcomer to the neurophenomenological family. Rather, we situate our approach under the broader umbrella of phenomenology. Secondly, we argue that from our empirical position it is questionable that the strategy we pursued in the target article left the black box of consciousness completely closed. Thirdly, we argue that the subjective fluctuations that may appear as outcomes in an experimental paradigm are not to be considered with a resigned attitude but as valuable information to work with. We conclude our response by agreeing with the concerns of two of the commentators about extending the perspectives and plurality of the methods to investigate the explanatory gap problem.
Baxter H. (2013) Niklas Luhmann’s theory of autopoietic legal systems. Annual Review of Law and Social Science 9: 167–184. https://cepa.info/5628
Between 1984 and his death in 1998, German sociologist Niklas Luhmann developed a comprehensive theory of what he called autopoietic or self-referential systems. He worked out this approach both at the level of a social system as a whole and at the level of various social subsystems, such as state, economy, science, religion, education, art, family, and – the concern of the present article – law. My particular topics in this critical introduction to Luhmann’s theory are (a) its relation to more standard legal theory, (b) foundational or self-referential problems in law, and (c) the problem of law’s relation to other social spheres, especially politics and the economy.
Constructivist family therapy offers a model for the application of Maturana’s theories to practice. This paper describes key concepts of a constructivist approach and draws on family therapy to provide guidelines for applying them in an organizational setting. It offers a view of the organization as a network of conversations in which change occurs through the coconstruction of new conversations which widen or change the rational domain in which a problem occurs.
Three central themes of Maturana’s work – autopoiesis, the biology of cognition, and cybernetic ontology – are examined. Evidence is offered that Maturana’s treatment of these themes is either unoriginal or flawed. The uncritical acceptance of Maturana’s work by family therapists raises questions about the maturity of their discipline, especially in so far as many practitioners claim an understanding of cybernetics.
Colapinto J. (1985) Maturana and the ideology of conformity. The Family Therapy Networker 9(3): 29–30. https://cepa.info/5888
Criticizes H. R. Maturana and F. J. Varela’s (1980) proposition that the passion to change others is not just ethically wrong but essentially impossible. Maturana argued that since reality is observer-dependent, no knowledge about an objective reality is possible. Maturana also stated that the behavior of people is not a purposeful accommodation to the environment but a manifestation of internal structure. It is suggested that Maturana’s distinction between organization and structure is not incompatible with the idea that the therapist may purposefully structure the therapeutic environment to encourage a family to change in a given direction. It is concluded that the passion to change others is intrinsically constitutive of the therapist and that even Maturana is a closeted agent of change in his effort to shift the thinking of family therapists.
Cottone R. R. (1989) The third epistemology: Extending Maturana’s structure determinism. The American Journal of Family Therapy 17(2): 99–109. https://cepa.info/3834
This article is a critical analysis of Maturana’s recent works as applied to the social and behavioral sciences. It proposes that there is a major contradiction in Maturana’s “structure determinism” which prevents a consistent epistemological and ontological perspective. The concept of change is viewed as crucial to understanding Maturana’s work and to extending his ideas to form a consistent philosophical viewpoint, which is defined as the third epistemology for the social and behavioral sciences. Accordingly, the idea of structure is abdicated. It is proposed that the new perspective on Maturana’s work has practical application to the social and behavioral sciences, in general, and family therapy, in particular.