Abdoun O., Fucci E. & Poletti S. (2021) Guiding Principles for Methodological Integrity and Epistemological Consistency in Mixed Methods Studies. Constructivist Foundations 16(2): 229–232. https://cepa.info/6963
Open peer commentary on the article “Assessing Subjective Processes and Vulnerability in Mindfulness-based Interventions: A Mixed methods Exploratory Study” by Sebastián Medeiros, Carla Crempien, Alejandra Vásquez-Rosati, Javiera Duarte, Catherine Andreu, Álvaro I. Langer, Miguel Ibaceta, Jaime R. Silva & Diego Cosmelli Sánchez. Abstract: Medeiros et al. implement a mixed methods approach to explore the mechanisms underlying individual transformation during mindfulness-based interventions. We provide critiques, questions and suggestions to increase the validity of the present study and fruitfulness of future mixed methods endeavors. We frame our commentary in existing guidelines for the design and implementation of mixed methods.
Akpan J. P. & Beard L. A. (2016) Using constructivist teaching strategies to enhance academic outcomes of students with special needs. Universal Journal of Educational Research 4(2): 392–398. https://cepa.info/4701
Over the past decades many teaching strategies have been proposed by various educators to improve education of all students including students with special needs. No single one of these proposed teaching strategies meets the needs of all students. The new Every Student Succeeds Act, successor to No Child Left behind Law, which transfers oversight from federal level back to states, could be a benefactor for constructivism and special education. Educators are also optimistic that the new Every Student Succeeds Act will be better for vulnerable students in special education because it will introduce more flexibility in how individual states carry out evaluation of students and teachers. In addition, it will provide more flexibility on testing and adapt the curriculum to student’s needs. It would further reduce time and energy for students preparing for standardized tests or statewide exams. It will also end “Adequate Yearly Progress” – a measure that required schools to show test score gains. Constructivist teaching philosophy is all about accepting student autonomy where student thinking drives the lessons, where dialogue, inquiry, and puzzlement are valued and assessing student learning is in the context of teaching. It helps teachers to draw on new ideas as they make decisions about which teaching techniques are most appropriate for all students to learn. Now is the time to revisit the great debate of constructivism versus teacher-centered instruction and special education. Time has come to effectively explore our educational system and examine the core unit of the whole enterprise, the textbook, the classroom, a setting that is often dominated by teacher talk and students listen.
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.
Arinin E., Lyutaeva M. & Markova N. (2022) Аутопойезис религии как социальной субсистемы: Рецепция идей Н. Лумана российскими исследователями религии [Autopoiesis of religion as a social subsystem: Reception of N. Luhmann’s ideas by Russian researchers of religion]. Религиоведение 1: 72–81.
The article offers an analysis of a number of Russian studies of the work of Niklas Luhmann (1927–1998), focusing on the understanding of religion as a special autopoietic subsystem of society. The authors describe the formation of “differences” in the religious sphere of social life and their “autopoiesis.” The first ideas about religion as the “faith” (“вѣра”) of the prince and the court elite are implicitly recorded from the 10th – 11th centuries in the context of “theological,” reflections on “true piety,” which, like “truth” and “law,” opposed “lie” and “lawlessness.” The term “religion,” generally accepted today, has been fixed in texts in Russian since the beginning of the 18th century, remaining rare until the second half of the 60s of the 19th century. By the beginning of the 20th century, it acquires about 20 meanings in a spectrum of connotations from the extremely sublime (“saving truth”) to the extremely profane (“opium for the people”) in the “atheistic” publications of the Soviet period, when the authorities begin to construct “communism” as a global perspective “universe of truth,” in which “atheism” must be established, and all religions must “die off.” Modern Russian religious studies “academically” describe the phenomenon of religion in a number of specialized research areas with its own distinctions of “true/false,” including understanding it as an “autopoiesis” of the beliefs of our fellow citizens and their communities as “actors” of communication processes that are part of the social subsystems of science, rights, media, etc. with its “atheistic/religious” distinctions. The publications of the 21st century discuss the variety of meanings of the Latin word “religio” and its derivatives, denoting both the infinitely complex and indescribable “extra-linguistic reality” of a person’s existence in the world, and local forms of “observing of the unknown,” reducing everything “unmastered” to the languages of the confessional “piety” and individual or group “vernacular religiosity,” which today can be understood “theologically,” “atheistically” or “academically.”
This paper examines the experience of where we end and the rest of the world begins, that is, the sense of boundaries. Since meditators are recognized for their ability to introspect about the bodily level of experience, and in particular about their sense of boundaries, 27 senior meditators (those with more than 10, 000 hours of experience) were interviewed for this study. The main conclusions of this paper are that (a) the boundaries of the so-called “physical body” (body-as-object) are not equivalent to the individual’s sense of boundaries; (b) the sense of boundaries depends upon sensory activity; (c) the sense of boundaries should be defined according to its level of flexibility; (d) the sense of body ownership (the sense that it is one’s own body that undergoes an experience) cannot be reduced to the sense of boundaries; nevertheless, (e) the sense of ownership depends on the level of flexibility of the sense of boundaries.
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.
Ayala D. C. (2020) Cohesiveness is not an adequate theory of general individuation and it does not account for living individuals. Adaptive Behavior 28(1): 31–32.
Villalobos and Razeto-Barry propose a theory of living individuals that includes both considerations about autopoietic systems and about material individuals. However, I think that their characterisation of individuality is problematic and would not be useful to account for living individuals.
This paper aims at shedding light on what students can “construct” when they learn science and how this construction process may be supported. Constructivism is a pluralist theory of science education. As a consequence, I support, there are several points of view concerning this construction process. Firstly, I stress that constructivism is rooted in two fields, psychology of cognitive development and epistemology, which leads to two ways of describing the construction process: either as a process of enrichment and/or reorganization of the cognitive structures at the mental level, or as a process of building or development of models or theories at the symbolic level. Secondly, I argue that the usual distinction between “personal constructivism” (PC) and “social constructivism” (SC) originates in a difference of model of reference: the one of PC is Piaget’s description of “spontaneous” concepts, assumed to be constructed by students on their own when interacting with their material environment, the one of SC is Vygotsky’s description of scientific concepts, assumed to be introduced by the teacher by means of verbal communication. Thirdly, I support the idea that, within SC, there are in fact two trends: one, in line with Piaget’s work, demonstrates how cooperation among students affects the development of each individual’s cognitive structures; the other, in line with Vygotsky’s work, claims that students can understand and master new models only if they are introduced to the scientific culture by their teacher. Fourthly, I draw attention to the process of “problem construction” identified by some French authors. Finally, I advocate for an integrated approach in science education, taking into account all the facets of science learning and teaching mentioned above and emphasizing their differences as well as their interrelations. Some suggestions intended to improve the efficiency of science teaching are made.
Attention is paid to the similarities between pragmatic philosophy and symbolic interactionism on the one hand, and radical constructive epistemologies on the other. Referring to the work of George Herbert Mead, symbolic interactionism has frequently been designated as a naive and idealistic sociological theory promoting the liberty of the individual by the use of the metaphysically echoing concepts as “the self”, “the I and the Me” and “taking the role of the other”. In reading the work of Mead closely, however, one is struck by the theoretic nature of these concepts which is not always clearly mentioned in symbolic interactionism. Furthermore, the work of Mead treats very similar topics and in a very similar way to the work of present theorists on autopoiesis and auto‐organisation and its origins in the relation between individuals and society. It is the purpose of this paper to suggest the work of Mead as a possible frame of reference for the elaboration of present discussions on the matter.
Baggs E. & Chemero A. (2021) Radical embodiment in two directions. Synthese 198(S9): 2175–2190. https://cepa.info/6675
Radical embodied cognitive science is split into two camps: the ecological approach and the enactive approach. We propose that these two approaches can be brought together into a productive synthesis. The key is to recognize that the two approaches are pursuing different but complementary types of explanation. Both approaches seek to explain behavior in terms of the animal–environment relation, but they start at opposite ends. Ecological psychologists pursue an ontological strategy. They begin by describing the habitat of the species, and use this to explain how action possibilities are constrained for individual actors. Enactivists, meanwhile, pursue an epistemic strategy: start by characterizing the exploratory, self-regulating behavior of the individual organism, and use this to understand how that organism brings forth its animal-specific umwelt. Both types of explanation are necessary: the ontological strategy explains how structure in the environment constrains how the world can appear to an individual, while the epistemic strategy explains how the world can appear differently to different members of the same species, relative to their skills, abilities, and histories. Making the distinction between species habitat and animal-specific umwelt allows us to understand the environment in realist terms while acknowledging that individual living organisms are phenomenal beings.