I am not a Constructivist.

 

I have noticed that a lot of teachers have a strong belief in constructivism which I do not share. Please, let me explain.

As I understand it, constructivism holds that it is proven there are hard limits to human understanding and learning, limits within which we have to work. These limits are, it seems, determined by congenital and cultural factors, including individuals’ initial languages.

In addition, it holds that all our basic ideas are schemata, which may only possibly be of objective origin and are usually utterly specific to particular cultures and language communities, and that it is probably impossible to eradicate or replace them in an adult mind; consequently, it seems impossible radically to change any such a mind.

This suggests that we cannot really go very far in understanding people from other cultures, or in learning or translating additional languages.

Personally, I am struck by the views of Jose Ignacio Latorre (professor of physics at the University of Barcelona): science since 1922 has been effectively dismantling the myth that there are pre-existing local realities which are both determined and determining.

I am relatively optimistic about human autonomy, the human ability to learn and adapt, and the human capacity for empathy. Instead of constructivism, I prefer “the growth mind-set”.

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