Re-inventing the wheel?

Paul wrote a fantastic post challenging some of the ideas about knowledge that this course has shown us. 

He states:

I personally, wonder what this means with the rise of subjectivism, where knowledge is generated in the mind with no real concrete reference to reality.   With the rise of networks and the recycling of knowledge does this mean that the world becomes little more our imagination? Will this mean that in the future “anything goes”, and lets desires, whims, and emotions run rampant?

I find these ideas interesting, and scarily true. However, perhaps this is not an entirely new idea? Constructivism is founded on the premise that students actively construct their knowledge rather than just absorbing the knowledge lectured to them by teachers. 

Savery and Duffy (2005) summarise Constructivism in three main points:

  1. “Understanding is in our interactions with the environment(p.1). Piaget (1970) stated that children try to make sense of the world through manipulation of their environment and learn through the process of doing. In this way, students are responsible for their learning.
  2. “Cognitive conflict or puzzlement is the stimulus for learning and determines the organization and nature of what is learned” (Savery & Duffy, p.2). Dewey (1938, in Savery & Duffy 1995), states that it is the “problematic” that leads to learning and organizes learning. The goal of the learner is central to what is being learnt (Savery & Duffy 1995).
  1. “Knowledge evolves through social negotiation and through the evaluation of the viability of individual understandings.” (Savery & Duffy 2005, p.2).

So perhaps this notion of the social construction of knowledge is now made incredibly explicit through the use of technology? 

Hmm, I think I need to think through this a little more!

Savery & Duffy (1995). Problem based learning: an instructional model and its constructivist framework. Educational Technology 35, 31-38.


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