Publication 6866

Zevenbergen R. (1996) Constructivism as a liberal bourgeois discourse. Educational Studies in Mathematics 31: 95–113. Fulltext at https://cepa.info/6866
Using the theoretical tools offered through the writings of Pierre Bourdieu, this paper develops a critique of constructivism. Constructivism has assumed a dominance with the field of mathematics education but, as an epistemology, it ignores the social implications of the construction of meaning. It is argued that constructivism is a liberal discourse which valorises the individual construction of meaning. In doing this, the social and political contexts in which mathematical knowledge is located is ignored and the marginalisation of many social and cultural groups is legitimated.

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