Publication 3065

Bettencourt A. (1993) The construction of knowledge: A radical constructivist view. In: Tobin K. (ed.) The practice of constructivism in science education. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale NJ: 39–50.
Expressions like “constructivism,” “construction of knowledge,” “learners construct meaning,” and similar ones are starting to become part of the language of science education. We are liable to hear them in professional meetings or inservice workshops and to read them in articles in the professional journals. As the term constructivism becomes more widespread, different people tend to use it with slightly different meanings, and some use it in a loose way to designate a complex of different pedagogical, psychological, or philosophical tendencies. (The ideas about constructivism explained in this chapter are in no way to be taken as an attempt to define the “orthodoxy” of constructivism. Consistent with a constructivist view, they are simply a model of what it means to know. The claim of this model is to be a viable view of knowledge. This chapter aims at presenting the model and exploring from there some relations with teaching and learning of science.) These tendencies seem to have in common the central assumption that all we come to know is our own construction.
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