Knowledge Construction Online: Does Construcivism Deliver the Goods?

Knowledge Construction Online: Does Construcivism Deliver the Goods?

Mike Grenfell (Charles Darwin University, Australia)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-732-4.ch024
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This chapter uses a contestatory style of research to challenge a number of our dearly held beliefs about constructivism, drawing on data from a discussion board which was an assessable component of a master’s course, EME501: Redefining the Urban-Rural Divide. After reviewing the minimalist and constructivist approaches employed, it looks closely at the kinds of knowledge constructed and the challenges this poses for social constructivism. In particular it looks at the ways existing beliefs and attitudes are reinforced, the maintenance of conservative views, the persistence of gendered knowledge, and the emergence of irreconcilable differences with regard to ICT and the virtual classroom. While not invalidating constructivism as an overall approach to Web-mediated learning, the way in which it is implemented can give cause for concern.

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