21 - Constructivism

Ernst von Glasersfeld, one of the main proponents of Radical Constructivism was in Vienna and much to my regret I didn’t see him in person. He gave a speech at the university of Vienna, where he explained his theory.

Radical Constructivism is one of the leading theories in natural, cultural and social sciences and claims that knowledge exists only and exclusively in the human brain and can only be constructed on the basis of experience. What we perceive as the world we live in, is a construct made of our own unique experiences. Thus, knowledge is a self-organized cognitive process and not a compilation of data. But, let’s hear Glasersfeld on this: “1 a) Knowledge is not passively received either through the senses or by way of communication; b) knowledge is actively built up by the cognizing subject. 2 a) The function of cognition is adaptive, in the biological sense ofthe term, tending towards fit or viability; b) cognition serves the subject's organization of the experiential world, not the discovery of an objective ontological reality.”

Important and indispensable is constructivism in connection with teaching and learning,especially when it comes to “meaning”. Once you realize, there is no such thing as “shared meanings” everything changes.
How do we mean? A Constructivist Sketch of Semantics.

There’s more about Constructivism here and a very good portal Constructivism Overview

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