Science & Education

, Volume 6, Issue 1–2, pp 121–133 | Cite as

Constructivist Metaphors of Learning Science

  • Jon Ogborn


Based on an analysis of a fundamental distinction between metaphors of ’finding‘ versus ’making‘ for the obtaining of new knowledge, a number of constructivist positions in education are discussed and criticised, taking account of earlier criticism particularly by Suchting and by Matthews. Constructivist claims which are denied include the claim that we have no direct access to the world, and the claim that communication is inherently meaningless. What is valuable in constructivism, namely the insistence on active learning, on respect for the pupil‘s own thinking, and on the high priority needed for ideas taught to make sense to pupils, together with the reminder that science is a human product, is important to retain without its additional and ill-founded philosophical baggage.


Active Learning Direct Access Fundamental Distinction Human Product Early Criticism 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jon Ogborn
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Science Education, Institute of EducationUniversity of LondonLondonUK

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