It is putting a very high value on one's conjectures, to have a man roasted alive because of them Montaigne, Essais From the earliest days philosophers were critical of Christianity.
It is easy enough to formulate simple catchy versions of the idea of constructionism; for example, thinking of it as "learning-by-making. My little play on the words construct and constructionism already hints at two of these multiple facets--one seemingly "serious" and one seemingly "playful.
Constructionism--the N word as opposed to the V word--shares constructivism's connotation of learning as "building knowledge structures" irrespective of the circumstances of the learning.
It then adds the idea that this happens especially felicitously in a context where the learner is consciously engaged in constructing a public entity, whether it's a sand castle on the beach or a theory of the universe. And this in turn implies a ramified research program which is the real subject of this introduction and of the volume itself.
But in saying all this I must be careful not to transgress the basic tenet shared by the V and the N forms: If one eschews pipeline models of transmitting knowledge in talking among ourselves as well as in theorizing about classrooms, then one must expect that I will not be able to tell you my idea of constructionism.
Doing so is bound to trivialize it. Instead, I must confine myself to Marketing memo essay you in experiences including verbal ones liable to encourage your own personal construction of something in some sense like it. Only in this way will there be something rich enough in your mind to be worth talking about.
But if I am being really serious about this, I have to ask Marketing memo essay this will quickly lead us into really deep psychological and epistemological waters what reasons I have to suppose that you will be willing to do this and that if you did construct your own constructionism that it would have any resemblance to mine?
I find an interesting toe-hold for the problem in which I called the playful facet--the element of tease inherent in the idea that it would be particularly oxymoronic to convey the idea of constructionism through a definition since, after all, constructionism boils down to demanding that everything be understood by being constructed.
The joke is relevant to the problem, for the more we share the less improbable it is that our self-constructed constructions should converge. And I have learned to take as a sign of relevantly common intellectual culture and preferences the penchant for playing with self-referentially recursive situations: Experience shows that people who relate to that kind of thing often play in similar ways.
And in some domains those who play alike think alike. Those who like to play with images of structures emerging from their own chaos, lifting themselves by their own bootstraps, are very likely predisposed to constructionism. They are not the only ones who are so predisposed.
In Chapter 9 of this volume, Sherry Turkel and I analyze the epistemological underpinnings of a number of contemporary cultural movements. We show how trends as different as feminist thought and the ethnography of science join with trends in the computer culture to favor forms of knowledge based on working with concrete materials rather than abstract propositions, and this too predisposes them to prefer learning in a constructionist rather than in an instructionist mode.
In Chapter 2, I make a similar connection with political trends. It does not follow from this that you and I would be precluded from constructing an understanding about constructionism in case you happened not to be in any of the "predisposed groups" I have mentioned.
I am not prepared to be "reductionist" quite to that extent about arguing my own theory, and in the following pages I shall probe several other routes to get into resonance on these issues: More like the tinkerer, the bricoleur, we can come to agreement about theories of learning at least for the present and perhaps in principle only by groping in our disorderly bags of tricks and tools for the wherewithal to build understandings.
In some cases there may be no way to do it one-on-one but a mutual understanding could still be socially mediated: But what if we didn't find a route to any understanding at all? This would be tragic if we were locked into a classroom or other power ridden situation where one of us has to grade the other; but in the best phases of life, including real science and mathematics, it turns out much more often than is admitted in schools to be right to say: I might appear in the previous paragraph to be talking about accepting or rejecting constructionism as a matter of "taste and preference" rather than a matter of "scientific truth.
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