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Dictionary

CONSTRUCTIVISM

This is a particularly elusive term with different meanings depending on the discourse in which it is used. For example, constructivism in mathematics and logic, or the ideas of construct and construct validity that play a central role in the methodologies of experimental psychology and psychometrics, bears little resemblance to the notions of constructivism readily found in the contemporary literature in the social sciences. Also, the latter generally have very little to do with everyday, garden-variety constructivism, which is the belief that the mind is active in the construction of knowledge. Most of us would agree that knowing is not passive—a simple imprinting of sense data on the mind—but active; that is, the mind does something with these impressions, at the very least forms abstractions or concepts. In this sense, constructivism means that human beings do not find or discover knowledge so much as construct or make it. We invent ...

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