Science & Education

, Volume 12, Issue 8, pp 787-797

First online:

Constructivism: Defense or a Continual Critical Appraisal A Response to Gil-Pérez et al.

  • Mansoor NiazAffiliated withUniversidad de Oriente
  • , Fouad Abd-El-KhalickAffiliated withUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • , Alicia BenarrochAffiliated withUniversidad de Granada
  • , Liberato CardelliniAffiliated withUniversitá Degli Studi di Ancona
  • , Carlos E. LaburúAffiliated withUniversidade Estadual de Londrina
  • , Nicolás MarínAffiliated withUniversidad de Almería
  • , Luis A. MontesAffiliated withEscuela Técnica de Pesca de Cumaná
  • , Robert NolaAffiliated withUniversity of Auckland
  • , Yuri OrlikAffiliated withUniversidad Javeriana
    • , Lawrence C. ScharmannAffiliated withUniversidad de OrienteKansas State University
    • , Chin-Chung TsaiAffiliated withUniversidad de OrienteNational Chiao Tung University
    • , Georgios TsaparlisAffiliated withUniversidad de OrienteUniversity of Ioannina

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This commentary is a critical appraisal of Gil-Pérez et al.'s (2002) conceptualization of constructivism. It is argued that the following aspects of their presentation are problematic: (a) Although the role of controversy is recognized, the authors implicitly subscribe to a Kuhnian perspective of `normal' science; (b) Authors fail to recognize the importance of von Glasersfeld's contribution to the understanding of constructivism in science education; (c) The fact that it is not possible to implement a constructivist pedagogy without a constructivist epistemology has been ignored; and (d) Failure to recognize that the metaphor of the `student as a developing scientist' facilitates teaching strategies as students are confronted with alternative/rival/conflicting ideas. Finally, we have shown that constructivism in science education is going through a process of continual critical appraisals.