Von Glasersfeld's answers
December 2001




Dear Professor von Glasersfeld,

I am a first grade teacher in a charter school based on constructivist teaching methodology. In your opinion, what are the essential differences between radical and social constructivists in their view of the learner? 
How are their views of a learner similiar?

Patti L. Sandy



Dear Ms Sandy,

Answers to the question of what the differences are between radical and  social contructivism, you will find under questions 1 and 4, June-July 1997;  the question of February 1998; and question 5, July 1999. 

With regard to the learner, I would say the main difference is that SC 
fosters the notion that language and society are what they are irrespective of the individual experiencer/constructor. Consequently he/she will get the idea that certain things are "right" and others "wrong", which is different from RC's view of viability. In physics, for instance, the student will get the impression that the physicists' models are descriptions of the real world (rather than constructs that more or less fit experience).

Best wishes,
Ernst von Glasersfeld



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