Journal of Science Education and Technology

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 359–370

Constructivism and science education: Some epistemological problems

  • Michael R. Matthews

DOI: 10.1007/BF00694598

Cite this article as:
Matthews, M.R. J Sci Educ Technol (1993) 2: 359. doi:10.1007/BF00694598


The paper outlines the significant influence of constructivism in contemporary science and mathematics education and emphasizes the central role that epistemology plays in constructivist theory and practice. It is claimed that constructivism is basically a variant of old-style empiricist epistemology, which had its origins in Aristotle's individualist and sense-based theory of knowledge. There are well-known problems with empiricism from which constructivism appears unable to dissociate itself.

Key words

Constructivism empiricism epistemology Aristotle Galileo 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael R. Matthews
    • 1
  1. 1.Education DepartmentUniversity of AucklandAuckland

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