Cognition, construction of knowledge, and teaching
- Ernst von Glasersfeld
- … show all 1 hide
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
The existence of objective knowledge and the possibility of communicating it by means of language have traditionally been taken for granted by educators. Recent developments in the philosophy of science and the historical study of scientific accomplishments have deprived these presuppositions of their former plausibility. Sooner or later, this must have an effect on the teaching of science. In this paper I am presenting a brief outline of an alternative theory of knowing that takes into account the thinking organism's cognitive isolation from ‘reality’. This orientation was proposed by Vico at the beginning of the 18th century, disregarded for two hundred years, and then propounded independently by Piaget as a developmentally grounded constructivist epistemology. The paper focuses specifically on the adaptive function of cognition, Piaget's scheme theory, the process of communication, and the subjective perspective on social interaction. In the concluding section it then suggests some of the consequences the shift of epistemological presuppositions might have for the practice of teaching.
- Anonymous: 1711, ‘Osservazioni’,Giornale de' Letterati d'Italia, Venice5, article VI.
- Beth, E. W. and J. Piaget: 1961,Epistémologie Mathématique et Psychologie, Presses Universitaires de France, Paris.
- Ceccato, S.: 1974, ‘In the Garden of Choices’, in C. D. Smock and E. v. Glasersfeld (eds.),Epistemology and Education, Follow Through Publications, Report 14, Athens, Georgia, pp. 123–40, Italian original presented atConvegno sull'educazione, San Marino, Italy, 1973.
- Cherry, C.: 1966,On Human Communication, 2nd ed., MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- Clement, J.: 1987, ‘Overcoming Students' Misconceptions in Physics: The Role of Anchoring Intuitions and Analogical Validity’, in J. Novak (ed.),Proceedings of the 2nd International Seminar on Educational Strategies in Science and Mathematics, Vol. 3, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, pp. 84–97.
- Cobb, P., T. Wood and E. Yackel: 1989, ‘Philosophy of Science as a Source of Analogies for Mathematics Education’, unpublished paper.
- Confrey, J.: 1984, ‘An Examination of the Conceptions of Mathematics of Young Women in High School’, paper presented at Annual Meeting of theAmerican Educational Research Association, New Orleans, 1984.
- Duckworth, E.: 1987,The Having of Wonderful Ideas, Teachers College Press, Columbia University, New York.
- Fleck, L.: 1929, ‘Zur Krise der “Wirklichkeit”’,Die Naturwissenschaften, 17,23, 425–30. (The excerpts from this paper were translated by E. v. Glasersfeld.)
- Fleck, L.: 1935,Entstehung und Entwiklung einer wissenschaftlichen Tatsache, Benno Schwabe, Basel, Switzerland; reprinted; Suhrkamp 1980, Nördlingen, Germany.
- Foerster, H. von: 1981,Observing Systems, Intersystems Publications, Salinas, California.
- Glasersfeld, E. von: 1982, ‘An Interpretation of Piaget's Constructivism’,Revue Internationale de Philosophie 36, 612–35.
- Glasersfeld, E. von: 1985a, ‘Reconstructing the Concept of Knowledge’,Archives de Psychologie 53, 91–101.
- Glasersfeld, E. von: 1985b, ‘Representation and Deducation’, in L. Streefland (ed.),Proceedings of the 9th Conference for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, vol. 1, State University of Utrecht, The Netherlands, pp. 484–89.
- Glasersfeld, E. von: 1986, ‘Steps in the Construction of “Others” and “Reality”’, in R. Trappl (ed.),Power, Autonomy, Utopia, Plenum, London, pp. 107–16.
- Hebb, D. O.: 1958, ‘Alice in Wonderland or Psychology among the Biological Sciences’, in Harlow and Woolsey (eds.),Biological and Biochemical Bases of Behavior, University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, pp. 451–67.
- Kant, I.: 1781,Kritik der reinen Vernunft, Gesammelte Schriften, Band IV, Königlich, Preussische Akademie, Berlin, pp. 1910ff.
- Kuhn, T. S.: 1970,The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 2nd ed., University of Chicago Press, Chicago, first published 1962.
- Lochhead, J.: 1983, ‘Constructivist Approaches to Teaching Mathematics and Science at the College Level’, in J. Bergeron and N. Herscovics (eds.),Proceedings of 5th Annual Meeting of the North American Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education, Vol. 2. PME-NA, Montreal, Canada, pp. 74–80.
- Maturana, H. R.: 1980, ‘Biology of Cognition’, in H. R. Maturana and F. J. Varela (eds.),Autopoiesis and Cognition, D. Reidel, Dordrecht, pp. 5–58.
- Nash, J.: 1970,Developmental Psychology, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.
- Piaget, J.: 1937,La construction du réel chez l'enfant, Delachaux et Niestlé, Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
- Piaget, J.: 1967a,Biologie et connaissance, Gallimard, Paris.
- Piaget, J.: 1967b,Six Psychological Studies, Vintage Books, New York.
- Piaget, J. and R. Garcia: 1983,Psychogénèse et histoire des sciences, Flammarion, Paris.
- Pittendrigh, C. S.: 1958, ‘Adaptation, Natural Selection, and Behavior’, in A. Roe and G. G. Simpson (eds.),Behavior and Evolution, Yale University Press, New Haven, pp. 390–416.
- Shannon, C.: 1948, ‘The Mathematical Theory of Communication’,Bell Systems Technical Journal 27, 379–423, 623–56.
- Siegel, H.: 1982, ‘On the Parallel between Piagetian Cognitive Development and the History of Science’,Philosophy of Social Science 12, 375–86.
- Steffe, L. P.: 1986, ‘Principles of Mathematical Curriculum Design in Early Childhood Education’, Symposium on Early Mathematics Learning: Teacher-focused Curriculum Change,American Educational Research Association, Washington, DC.
- Steffe, L. P. and P. Cobb: 1987,Construction of Arithmetical Meanings and Strategies, Springer-Verlag, New York.
- Thorndike, E.: 1966,Human Learning, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, first published, 1931.
- Treffers, A.: 1987,Three Dimensions: A Model of Goal and Theory Description in Mathematics Education — The Wiskobas Project, D. Reidel, Dordrecht.
- Vico, G.: 1710,De antiquissima Italorum sapientia, with Italian translation by F. S. Pomodoro, Stamperia de' Classici Latini, Naples, 1858.
- Cognition, construction of knowledge, and teaching
Volume 80, Issue 1 , pp 121-140
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Additional Links
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Scientific Reasoning Research Institute, University of Massachusetts, 01003, Amherst, MA, USA