Subject: Radical Constructivism
S i r :
I am a graduate student in mathematics education and I have come across your radical constructivist perspective.
Unlike the social constructivist view, I cannot visualize radical constructivist approach to teaching mathematics. I
do not have access to your books here in the Philippines, so would you please provide me some short answers, tips or
Mate Aggabao firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no essential discrepancy between social and radical constructivism
with regard to math education. The work of Heinrich Bauersfeld and Paul Cobb shows this very clearly [lots of
references in the literature . See also the book I edited: Radical Constructivism in Math. Education, Dordrecht:
Kluwer, 1991]. The disagreement concerns the locus of knowledge. Some social constructivists get angry when I say
that knowledge exists nowhere but in the heads of individuals. This does not deny the role of social interaction -
it merely stresses the obvious fact that 'others', society, language, etc. become known to the individual only by
way of his or her interpretation of the relevant interactions. This is important not only for mathematics but for
all education: understanding cannot be conveyed, neither by society nor by teachers, it has to be constructed be
each individual - which is not to say that others cannot help!