Social Constructionism


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social constructionism Scaffolding in Education

Abstract

The World Wide Web is being seen more and more as an effective and above all inexpensive means of delivering courses in the tertiary education sector. It is important however that financial imperatives to not take precedence over educational goals. In the search for an effective approach to Web learning, an re-examination of learning theory is required. This paper examines the three broad philosophies of Behaviourism, Cognitive Theory, and Constructivism and reviews their potential for delivering tertiary education via the Web. Problems with the Web are identified, such as the abstract textual nature of current Web technology, and the poor interactivity resulting from limited bandwidth. One theory, Social Constructivism, views learning as a process of enculturation brought about through social interaction. This paper proposes a pragmatic approach to the implementation of Social Constructivist approaches. As the Web develops, and environments rich in media and possessing a high level of interactivity become possible, the need for Social Constructivist strategies may be reduced. In the mean time, the potential of the Web as a communications medium rather than a mere content provider must not be ignored. Education and the Web The growth of the Internet and the Word Wide Web, in particular, are attracting the attention of tertiary educational institutions worldwide. This is manifest in the increasing number of distance education courses being offered in this medium (University of Texas, 1997; Pagram & McMahon, 1997). It is significantly less expensive to produce materials electronically than in printed form, and the material may easily be kept up to date (Eklund, Garrett, Ryan, & Harvey, 1996). These reasons, combined with the cost savings of a 'virtual campus' in real estate and contact time for the university, are leading to the Web being seen as an effective alternative to traditional face to face modes of education. It has been argued that students do not like to learn at a distance (Simonsen, 1995), but the convenience and flexibility of an external mode of delivery for those with busy life styles is making distance education an attractive proposition for students (Truman, 1995). Caution is required to ensure that these financial imperatives do not dominate the push for Web based learning. The proliferation of research which finds "no significant effect" for technology still raises concerns (Russell, 1997). The Web and the Internet itself is, after all, another in a long procession of technologies which offer much but whose promise not always fulfilled; and the rabid enthusiasm of many Internet proponents is tempered by the jaded cynicism of others. For every Nicholas Negroponte espousing the Internet as "humankind's best chance to respect and nurture the most obscure languages and cultures of the world" (Negroponte, 1996) there is a Clifford Stoll, presenting the Net as a chimera of unfulfilled promise, which actually works against literacy and creativity rather than promoting them (Stoll, 1995). There is little doubt that the Web is a significantly different medium to CD-ROM based Interactive Multimedia (IMM). While some argue that the Web is becoming a strong multimedia platform (Shotsberger, 1996), slow response times often make such environments impractical. In essence, the Web remains true to its initial objective of being a means of linking documents across a diverse network (Berners-Lee, 1989), and this raises concerns over the level of interactivity and engagement that can be supported. While there is no doubt that the potential of the Web as a global resource of information can have a strong potential for learning, it is worth being mindful of the fact that the Web does not ensure learning any more than a library on a university campus does (Reeves, 1996). Any approach to Web based learning must be guided by assumptions of what is to be learned and how learning itself comes about. A Theoretical Approach I have argued elsewhere for the need to find Web learning solutions that are explicitly grounded in theory, since learning strategies are informed by specific epistemological assumptions (Ring & McMahon, 1997). At the risk of oversimplifying a complex issue, much learning can be defined within the parameters of one or other of the three broad theoretical approaches of Behaviourism, Cognitive Theory, and Constructivism. Behaviourism Behaviourism argues that learning takes place ... more

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Strict Construtionalism

The Possibilities of a Strict Interpretation of the Constitution
The Supreme Court ruling on McCulloch vs. Maryland dramatically impacted the United States. The life of every American would have been more dependent on the States rather than the United States. The emphasis of power would focus on the sovereignty of the local, or State, branches of the government. This is the exact opposite of our currently domineering federal government. The United States would have become a totally different nation if the doctrine of strict constructionism had been followed.
The first difference of life would be the support the national government would both give and receive. The federal government would be far less bureaucratic. This is mainly because the government would not have the funds for it. They would demand less in taxes and would have much less to spend it on. The government would not have any assistance programs to spend its money on. The Social Security Act would not exist unless it was administered through State government.
Another part of the government that would be altered would be the act of factioning. Without liberal constructionism, the government would probably been split up during the Civil War. The emphasis on State control would have overridden the necessity to preserve the Union. The power of the States would prove superior to the rights and privileges of the national government, thus giving the authority to separate from the Union to the States. The government from would be much reminiscent of a confederation. The United States would not really be united at all. The inability to make useful and convenient laws would ultimately cause a separation in the legal system. There would be no way of the national government to regulate any State rules.
Without liberal constructionism, the United States would not be advanced as a world super power. The United States government would not have been able to connect a nation. The United States would not have had the opportunity to create a highway system or a communication network. The advances would also be hampered by the inability to create NASA or other government funded research initiatives. Without such program our nation would have lost the space race and probably would have had many more casualties in the various fighting capacities it has taken on.
Liberal constructionism is, was, and will be vital to the survival of the nation. Liberal constructionism, in essence, is vital in uniting the nation. Without this interpretation our nation would be much worse off. The Supreme Court justices in retrospect made a wise decision when favoring McCulloch. Despite the vehement hate towards a strong federal government, the governments of this world simply cannot operate when power is centered in local governments.

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  • S: The Underlying philosophical approaches to scienti S: The Underlying philosophical approaches to scienti The Underlying philosophical approaches to scientific enquiry of Positivist and Social Constructivist psychology have a great deal to offer one another and should not be view as mutually exclusive. Discuss. Abstract: This paper addresses the philosophical differences between two approaches to psychology. Firstly, it describes the philosophical foundations of Social Constructivism with its ideas of a socially constructed reality that is contextually, linguistically and culturally specific; an app...
  • O: Scaffolding in Education O: Scaffolding in Education Scaffolding in Education Abstract The World Wide Web is being seen more and more as an effective and above all inexpensive means of delivering courses in the tertiary education sector. It is important however that financial imperatives to not take precedence over educational goals. In the search for an effective approach to Web learning, an re-examination of learning theory is required. This paper examines the three broad philosophies of Behaviourism, Cognitive Theory, and Constructivism and rev...
  • C: Strict Construtionalism C: Strict Construtionalism Strict Construtionalism The Possibilities of a Strict Interpretation of the Constitution The Supreme Court ruling on McCulloch vs. Maryland dramatically impacted the United States. The life of every American would have been more dependent on the States rather than the United States. The emphasis of power would focus on the sovereignty of the local, or State, branches of the government. This is the exact opposite of our currently domineering federal government. The United States would have become...
  • I: Strict construtionalism I: Strict construtionalism Strict construtionalism The Possibilities of a Strict Interpretation of the Constitution The Supreme Court ruling on McCulloch vs. Maryland dramatically impacted the United States. The life of every American would have been more dependent on the States rather than the United States. The emphasis of power would focus on the sovereignty of the local, or State, branches of the government. This is the exact opposite of our currently domineering federal government. The United States would have become...
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  • T: Scaffolding in education T: Scaffolding in education scaffolding in education The World Wide Web is being seen more and more as an effective and above all inexpensive means of delivering courses in the tertiary education sector. It is important however that financial imperatives to not take precedence over educational goals. In the search for an effective approach to Web learning, an re-examination of learning theory is required. This paper examines the three broad philosophies of Behaviourism, Cognitive Theory, and Constructivism and reviews thei...
  • R: The Philosophy Of Sexuality R: The Philosophy Of Sexuality The Philosophy Of Sexuality Sexuality and Sexual Philosophy A Comprehensive Thesis Bryan Kissel March 21, 2001 The philosophy of sexuality, like the philosophy of science, art or law, is the study of the concepts and propositions surrounding its central protagonist, in this case `sex\'. Its practitioners focus on conceptual, metaphysical and normative questions. Conceptual philosophy of sex analyses the notions of sexual desire, sexual activity and sexual pleasure. What makes a feeling a sexual ...
  • U: One is Born a Woman U: One is Born a Woman One is Born a Woman For as long as humanity has existed, or anthropologically speaking Homo Sapien Sapien, it is intuitive to accept male and female must also exist. Anatomically it is apparent the human species is not asexual, and thus the different sexes must necessarily serve some purpose. Strictly speaking that purpose would be procreative, barring all notions of interpersonal communication bringing such emotions as love, happiness and belonging. In a scientific Darwinian fashion two sexes a...
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  • O: Homosexuality in the middle ages O: Homosexuality in the middle ages Homosexuality in the middle ages [Back to People With a History] Paul Halsall: The Experience of Homosexuality in the Middle Ages Preface The following is a paper written in 1988. I would change some, perhaps many of the conclusions, and certainly the theoretical approach. In particular I would emphasis the position of large aggregates of human beings [i.e. cities and monasteries] as a necessary but not sufficient pre-condition for homosexual sub-cultures. It should also be noted that this paper...
  • N: The Underlying philosophical approaches to scienti N: The Underlying philosophical approaches to scienti The Underlying philosophical approaches to scientific enquiry of Positivist and Social Constructivist psychology have a great deal to offer one another and should not be view as mutually exclusive. Discuss. Abstract: This paper addresses the philosophical differences between two approaches to psychology. Firstly, it describes the philosophical foundations of Social Constructivism with its ideas of a socially constructed reality that is contextually, linguistically and culturally specific; an app...
  • I: Scaffolding in Education I: Scaffolding in Education Scaffolding in Education Abstract The World Wide Web is being seen more and more as an effective and above all inexpensive means of delivering courses in the tertiary education sector. It is important however that financial imperatives to not take precedence over educational goals. In the search for an effective approach to Web learning, an re-examination of learning theory is required. This paper examines the three broad philosophies of Behaviourism, Cognitive Theory, and Constructivism and rev...
  • S: Strict Construtionalism S: Strict Construtionalism Strict Construtionalism The Possibilities of a Strict Interpretation of the Constitution The Supreme Court ruling on McCulloch vs. Maryland dramatically impacted the United States. The life of every American would have been more dependent on the States rather than the United States. The emphasis of power would focus on the sovereignty of the local, or State, branches of the government. This is the exact opposite of our currently domineering federal government. The United States would have become...
  • M: Strict construtionalism M: Strict construtionalism Strict construtionalism The Possibilities of a Strict Interpretation of the Constitution The Supreme Court ruling on McCulloch vs. Maryland dramatically impacted the United States. The life of every American would have been more dependent on the States rather than the United States. The emphasis of power would focus on the sovereignty of the local, or State, branches of the government. This is the exact opposite of our currently domineering federal government. The United States would have become...
  • The Philosophy Of Sexuality The Philosophy Of Sexuality Sex The Philosophy Of Sexuality Sexuality and Sexual Philosophy A Comprehensive Thesis Bryan Kissel March 21, 2001 The philosophy of sexuality, like the philosophy of science, art or law, is the study of the concepts and propositions surrounding its central protagonist, in this case `sex\'. Its practitioners focus on conceptual, metaphysical and normative questions. Conceptual philosophy of sex analyses the notions of sexual desire, sexual activity and sexual pleasure. What makes a feeling a sex...
  • The Philosophy Of Sexuality The Philosophy Of Sexuality The Philosophy Of Sexuality Sexuality and Sexual Philosophy A Comprehensive Thesis Bryan Kissel March 21, 2001 The philosophy of sexuality, like the philosophy of science, art or law, is the study of the concepts and propositions surrounding its central protagonist, in this case \'sex\'. Its practitioners focus on conceptual, metaphysical and normative questions. Conceptual philosophy of sex analyses the notions of sexual desire, sexual activity and sexual pleasure. What makes a feeling a sexual...
  • To what extent can I determine my own destiny To what extent can I determine my own destiny To what extent can I determine my own destiny To what extent can I determine my own destiny?\' Discuss in the light of theories, ideas and research encountered in the course. Do I act as I do through choice or are my actions influenced by factors beyond our control? This uncertainty has concerned psychologists for decades, consequently giving rise to the \'Autonomy versus Determinism\' debate. By definition, autonomy is the belief that we are free to make decisions and thus control all of our...