Volume 5 · Number 3 · Pages 109–120

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Comparing Conceptions of Learning: Pask and Luhmann

Eva Buchinger & Bernard Scott

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Context: Both Luhmann and Pask have developed detailed theories of social systems that include accounts of the role of learning. Problem: Rather than see the theories as competing, we believe it is worthwhile to seek ways in which a useful synthesis of the two approaches may be developed. Method: We compare the two approaches by identifying key similarities and differences. Results: We show it is possible to make useful mappings between key concepts in the two theories. Implications: We believe it is worthwhile for social scientists to be familiar with the two theories and that it is not a case of “either/or,” rather, it is a case of “both/and.”

Key words: learning, conversation, interaction, expectation, Niklas Luhmann, Gordon Pask


Buchinger E. & Scott B. (2010) Comparing Conceptions of Learning: Pask and Luhmann. Constructivist Foundations 5(3): 109–120. Available at http://constructivist.info/5/3/109.buchinger

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