On Knowledge and Knowing

Mark Windschitl (1999) wrote an interesting paper entitled “The challenges of sustaining a constructivist classroom culture”. 

Firstly, Windshitl describes a year 6 classroom. He states, the teacher is hard to find, there are clusters of students working together to solve complex problems that are of interest to the students. Students are engaged and involved in “sense making” through dialogue with their peers. A typical constructivist classroom based on the premise that students “actively create, interpret and reorganise knowledge in individual ways”. He continues stating,

“these fluid intellectual transformations occur when students reconcile formal instructional experiences with their existing knowledge, with the cultural and social contexts in which ideas occur, and with a host of other influences that serve to mediate understanding” ( p. 2). 

As a learner using NGL I feel this is how my knowledge has been constructed. I came in with an idea based on my previous (very little!) knowledge, I brought with me my cultural knowledge and my social context. It is not a smooth ride. 

Freire highlights a number of dispositions characteristic of those who are seeking to know. He suggests that seekers should “adopt a curious, probing, searching, humble, open-minded attitude toward the world”. 

These are important traits I need to remember as I hope to become one who not only engages with the knowledge, but one who progresses to become a knower. 

 

 

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