[xmca] Constructivism/Constructionism

From: Mike Cole (lchcmike@gmail.com)
Date: Sun Dec 03 2006 - 11:08:12 PST

I have been puzzling again over the constructivism/constructionism
distinction which has resurfaced here. Googling XMCA I see that the issue
has been before
us previously. Here are a couple of prior posts

I have been grappling with distinctions between social constructivism and
social constructionism. Previously, I determined that constructionism was
the ontology underlying constructivist epistemology. Having just reread
Prawat and Peterson's "Social Constructivist Views of Learning" in the
Handbook of Research on Educatational Administration, I feel my distinction
is confirmed, though not explicitly. In this article, it seems that an
individual person's knowledge construction is "constructivist", while the
creation of culture through interpersonal interaction
is "constructionist". Would neo-Vygotskian scholarsmore experienced than
myself agree with this interpretation? Thanks for your help. Willow Brown,
University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

To whioch the response was:

I came across the distinction in Ernest, P. (1995). The one and the
many. In Steffe, L. & Gale, J. (Eds). Constructivism in education.
New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates:

Social constructivism puts emphasis on the essential and constitutive
nature of language and social interaction. Social constructivism
regards individual subjects and the realm of the social as

Social constructionism resembles social constructivism but
prioritizes the social above the individual.

*My name is Gary Shank and I am an associate professor of educational*
*> psychology at Northern Illinis University. I specialize in teaching*
*> qualitative research methods, and my research concerns two main*
*> things. First of all, I am interested in building a semiotic*
*> foundation to qualitative research, and this is where my interest*
*> in Vygotsky and other cultural historical theorists come in.*
*> Second, I am interested in the logic of qualitative research and*
*> how it is fundamentally different from other research logics.*
*> This work is informed by Peirce, another favorite here. I like to*
*> do research where cultural aspects are used as tools to understand*
*> other cultural aspects as well, and I am drawn to many, but not*
*> all, postmodern ideas. For example, I dont like constructivism*
*> (not constructionism which I think is pretty cool) very much, but*
*> that is a paper topic. I am a life-logn science fiction fan, I*
*> play the guitar poorly with much gusto, and my friends think that*
*> I am at heart a kind and generous soul, even though I am often quite*
*> opinonated. I have been know to change my mind, and even admit to*
*> being wrong. I like the honesty and warmth of this group very*
*> much, and I have missed its presence.*
*> glad to be back, I remain*
*> gary shank*
*> gshank who-is-at niu.ed

*How do current discussants who are using this distinction view the issues?
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