Got Social?

Social Constructivism – “you are here”

Monday, January 12, 2009

Like on a map, I’m looking around academically for the big red spot that tells me
“you are here”

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Frost, Robert. Mountain Interval. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1920; Bartleby.com, 1999. www.bartleby.com/119/. 12 January 2009.

Recently I posted to my social networks a request for “who and what should I be reading about social constructivism”. I got the following responses:

* Dewey
* Gee
* Werstch
* Activity theory
* Vygotsky
* Jonassen
* An article by D. Robbie and L. Zeeng, published in the International Journal of Learning, called “Engaging Student Social Networks to Motivate Learning: Capturing, Analyzing, and Critiquing the Visual Image.”
* An article (or is it a series of articles, I can’t tell at first glance) I believe is titles “Philosophy of Technology Meets Social Constructivism” by Phillip Brey, from Twente University, in the Society for Philosophy and Technology. The link for that article is http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/SPT/v2n3n4/brey.html

Dewey, I’m guessing is John Dewey.
Gee probably has to be James Paul Gee
Wertsch must be James Wertsch

I’m seeing a trend here – I’ll take People With the First Initial J, Alex.

Lev Vygotsky is of course a must for this. I should probably read JeanPiaget also, although clearly Piaget is less about social constructivism, but still.
David Jonassen I’ve already run into, so he is definitely on my list
The two specific articles provided are definitely going to be looked into.
I’d also found Starr Roxanne Hiltz and Frances K. Stage _ I’ll be looking into them a bit more.

This is clearly a great start – but there has to be more. Is there a specific work you like that deals with constructivism, specifically social constructivism?

If the theoretical hair on the back of your neck stands up when you think about social constructivism (a lot of hooey, you think), then what should I be reading that you believes supports that viewpoint. Academic need to be critical thinkers – we need to be able to take a 360 degree look at something. I might not end up agreeing but at the very least I’ll have a better idea why I’m focusing on this.

Post your thoughts here – or reach out to me by email, through Facebook, or through Twitter.

  • ajblogsat says:

    On January 12, 2009 at 6:37 PM, Barbara (Grinn Pidgeon, SL) said…

    Here’s an interesting article debating constructivism over direct instruction: http://postgutenberg.typepad.com/newgutenbergrevolution/2008/06/new-paper-on-th.html

    Of course, it’s also good because of bibliography.

    September 23, 2009 at 3:06 pm
  • ajblogsat says:

    On January 12, 2009 at 9:42 PM, Dr. Mike Reddy said…

    Piaget = waste of time IMHO Overrated. Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed an bell hooks were useful as well. Bedny interprets Vygotsky incredibly well for non-Russian audiences.

    September 23, 2009 at 3:06 pm

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