Publication 2965

Bereiter C. (1994) Constructivism, socioculturalism, and Popper’s World 3. Educational Researcher 23(7): 21–23. Fulltext at http://cepa.info/2965
Excerpt: In comparing constructivist and sociocultural perspectives, it is worth considering at the outset whether any empirical or scientific claims are involved – claims that could be vulnerable to evidence – or whether the differences are entirely perspectival. The slogan “students construct their own knowledge” is not by itself a falsifiable claim. It is simply a concomitant of any cognitive stance – including the stance of folk psychology. As long as one views the mind as a container whose contents are beliefs, schemata, cognitive structures, or other cognitive objects, then any plausible explanation of how those objects get into the mind has to assume that they are created there. What alternative is there, short of thought transference? The only way to reject it is by rejecting the whole structure of cognitive psychological ideas built upon the mind-as-container metaphor.

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