Re: [xmca] Fundamental Questions

From: Michael A. Evans <mae who-is-at>
Date: Tue Sep 04 2007 - 09:41:25 PDT

Mike and All,

Thank you very much for the links and resources - the chapter provided below
is especially helpful for preparing to respond to the question of ontology,
the "basic concept of reality"...chapter 3 of the same source addresses
epistemology, which I'll look at as well...

I may be misguided here, but when I referred to social constructivism I was
thinking (primarily) of an epistemology, how one comes to know and what that
knowledge is, that was equally influenced by social interaction and cultural
context - thus, my students and I are exploring intermental development of
higher order thinking, this is the focus of Stahl's text...another concept
we're exploring is "intersubjective meaning making," which Suthers (2006)
has proposed as an important research agenda for CSCL:

The dialectical unity of opposites (say, individual vs. collective) is very
intriguing as a line of thought and is supported in one of our readings from
this week: Dalgarno, B. (2001). Interpretations of constructivism and
consequences for computer assisted learning. British Journal of Educational
Technology, 32(2), 183-194.

In this piece, Dalgarno cites Moshman (1982) to identify 3 strands of
constructivism - endogenous, exogenous, and dialectical, dialectical
constructivism defined as an approach that "emphasises the role of social
interaction in the learner's knowledge construction process, leading to an
emphasis on cooperative and collaborative learning strategies" (p. 190)...

I must say that what I found encouraging during last night's class was that
although students were admittedly uncomfortable with concepts such as "a
world without withins," they were willing to "hang in there" to explore the
possibilities of a non-dualistic approach...

Thanks, again!

michael a. evans
assistant professor
306 war memorial hall (0313)
department of learning sciences & technologies
school of education
virginia tech  
phone: +1 540.231.3743
fax: +1 540.231.9075
> From: Mike Cole <>
> Reply-To: <>, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
> <>
> Date: Mon, 03 Sep 2007 14:28:05 -0700
> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture,Activity" <>
> Subject: [xmca] Fundamental Questions
> We all learn through teaching, Mike, and you are lucky to have students
> asking fundamental questions.
> I am not sure precisely what you mean by social constructivism, and will see
> what others have to say since I am guessing that the answers are going to
> vary a lot. (And I have a LOT of reading to do to get ready to teach
> classes in a couple of weeks!, and Tony's query re joint mediated activity
> to deal with!). So I took the following
> dodge thinking it might be helpful to you.
> 1) I googled leontiev ontology and found a lot of info. This site directly
> addresses your question from the
> perspective of a leading activity theorist.
> 2) I googled the lchc site itself (google on home page) for
> individual/collective. There has been a lot
> of discussion here about that. (I do not know the way to create that
> directly vertical symbol that michael
> roth and others do to indicate a dialectic unity of opposites).  Anyway,
> googling just the lchc site
> works well.
> good luck!
> mikec
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Received on Tue Sep 4 09:43 PDT 2007

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