Year:

  1. E. K. Ackermann (2015). Amusement, Delight, and Whimsy: Humor Has Its Reasons That Reason Cannot Ignore. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):405-411.
    Context: The idea for this article sprang from a desire to revive a conversation with the late Ernst von Glasersfeld on the heuristic function - and epistemological status - of forms of ideations that resist linguistic or empirical scrutiny. A close look into the uses of humor seemed a thread worth pursuing, albeit tenuous, to further explore some of the controversies surrounding the evocative power of the imaginal and other oblique forms of knowing characteristic of creative individuals. Problem: People generally (...)
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  2. E. K. Ackermann (2015). Author’s Response: Impenetrable Minds, Delusion of Shared Experience: Let’s Pretend. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):418-421.
    Upshot: In view of Kenny’s clinical insights, Hug’s notes on the intricacies of rational vs. a-rational “knowing” in the design sciences, and Chronaki & Kynigos’s notice of mathematics teachers’ meta-communication on experiences of change, this response reframes the heuristic power of bisociation and suspension of disbelief in the light of Kelly’s notion of “as-if-ism” (constructive alternativism. Doing as-if and playing what-if, I reiterate, are critical to mitigating intra-and inter-personal relations, or meta-communicating. Their epistemic status within the radical constructivist framework is (...)
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  3. J. Bowers (2015). Documenting the Learning Process From a Constructionist Perspective. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):348-349.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Elementary Students’ Construction of Geometric Transformation Reasoning in a Dynamic Animation Environment” by Alan Maloney. Upshot: This commentary assumes a constructionist perspective to discuss the choice of methods, conclusions and design goals that Panorkou and Maloney make in their study of students’ activities with the Graph ’n Glyphs microworld.
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  4. P. Boytchev (2015). Constructionism and Deconstructionism. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):355-363.
    Context: There is a movement to change education so that it is adequate to social expectations and uses the full potential of technology. However, there has been no significant breakthrough in this area and there is no clear evidence why. Problem: A potential issue explaining why education falls behind is the way educators focus on education. There is a possibility that a significant step in the learning process is routinely neglected. Method: Two different approaches to using IT in education are (...)
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  5. P. Boytchev (2015). Author’s Response: Does Understanding Deconstruction Require Its Deconstruction? Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):367-369.
    Upshot: I describe my perception of deconstruction, including the controversial point of view that deconstruction is actually construction. I also provide more details about the some of the design decisions in the software, and how these affected the students’ experience.
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  6. K. Brennan (2015). Beyond Technocentrism: Supporting Constructionism in the Classroom. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):289-296.
    Context: In 2015, we are surrounded by tools and technologies for creating and making, thinking and learning. But classroom “learning” is often focused on learning about the tool/technology itself, rather than learning with or through the technology. Problem: A constructionist theory of learning offers useful ways for thinking about how technology can be included in the service of learning in K-12 classrooms. To support constructionism in the classroom, we need to focus on supporting teachers, who necessarily serve as the agents (...)
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  7. K. Brennan (2015). Author’s Response: The Critical Context of Teacher Attitudes and Beliefs. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):301-304.
    Upshot: The OPC responses aptly identified numerous factors teachers encounter that can impede changes in pedagogical practice in the classroom. Although some of these factors are external, beyond a teacher’s control, I discuss one internal factor - a teacher’s attitudes and beliefs about their role and the learners they support - that was raised in the responses.
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  8. K. Brennan (2015). Objects To Think With. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):313-314.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Designing Constructionist E-Books: New Mediations for Creative Mathematical Thinking?” by Chronis Kynigos. Upshot: Chronis Kynigos’s article invites us to explore how to make familiar objects for learning — namely, books — more constructionist. In my response, I ask questions about the affordances and potential limitations of books as central objects, particularly about the role of the learner in relation to the objects.
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  9. A. Chronaki & C. Kynigos (2015). Humor as a Humble Way to Access the Complexity of Knowledge Construction. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):416-417.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Amusement, Delight, and Whimsy: Humor Has Its Reasons that Reason Cannot Ignore” by Edith K. Ackermann. Upshot: Ackermann tackles “humor” as an agentive participant in the process of knowledge construction. Performing her thesis in her writing, she give a reflective account of how oblique ways of knowing have always been present in debates concerning epistemology, albeit not given equal status as rational ones. As such, her endeavors in this text are geared towards lifting up (...)
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  10. D. Corcoran (2015). Thoughts on Developing Theory in Designing C-Books. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):316-317.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Designing Constructionist E-Books: New Mediations for Creative Mathematical Thinking?” by Chronis Kynigos. Upshot: As a mathematics teacher educator and “digital tourist,” I focus my response to the many questions posed by Kynigos from three perspectives. First, I outline the theories he uses to frame the reporting of the research into the design of constructionist e-books. Second, I compare his theoretical tools with design-based research as an organising framework for a research project of this nature. (...)
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  11. M. Daskolia, C. Kynigos & K. Makri (2015). Learning About Urban Sustainability with Digital Stories: Promoting Collaborative Creativity From a Constructionist Perspective. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):388-396.
    Context: Sustainability is among major societal goals in our days. Education is acknowledged as an essential strategy for attaining sustainability by activating the creative potential within young people to understand sustainability, bring forth changes in their everyday life, and collectively envision a more sustainable future. Problem: However, teaching and learning about sustainability and sustainability-related issues is not an easy task due to the inherent complexity, ambiguity, and context-specificity of the concept. We are in need of innovative pedagogical approaches and tools (...)
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  12. S. Delarivière & J. Frans (2015). Computational Explanation in Cognitive Sciences: The Mechanist Turn. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):426-429.
    Upshot: The computational theory of mind has been elaborated in many different ways throughout the last decades. In Explaining the Computational Mind, Milkowski defends his view that the mind can be explained as computational through his defense of mechanistic explanation. At no point in this book is there explicit mention of constructivist approaches to this topic. We will, nevertheless, argue that it is interesting for constructivist readers.
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  13. G. Dettori (2015). Narrative Learning for Meaning-Making, Collaboration and Creativity. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):399-400.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Learning about Urban Sustainability with Digital Stories: Promoting Collaborative Creativity from a Constructionist Perspective” by Maria Daskolia, Chronis Kynigos & Katerina Makri. Upshot: The target article by Daskolia, Kynigos and Makri shows the great potential of narrative learning to foster general learning skills, such as meaning-making, collaboration and creativity, while facilitating the construction of disciplinary content knowledge. This learning approach has much to recommend it, especially from a constructivist perspective, because it supports the implementation (...)
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  14. G. Futschek (2015). Deconstruction in Software Construction. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):364-365.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Constructionism and Deconstructionism” by Pavel Boytchev. Upshot: Boytchev’s deconstructionism looks at first glance like a game of words. Upon a deeper view of the subject, he focuses our attention on the importance of deconstruction to the construction process, which is highly connected to creativity. In my contribution, I want to point out the close relationship of Boytchev’s deconstruction to the software development process, where requirements analysis corresponds to deconstruction and software design and implementation correspond (...)
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  15. H. Gash & T. McCloughlin (2015). Embedding Technology in Pedagogy. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):297-298.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Beyond Technocentrism: Supporting Constructionism in the Classroom” by Karen Brennan. Upshot: Brennan describes strategies designed to help teachers use Scratch in their classrooms, emphasising interfaces between the tool and its users, between users and between hope and happening. Previous work with similar aims identified apparently significant cultural approaches to initiating constructionist practice. Questions arise about the development of practice from technocentric to pedagogic over time that may have some answers in the data accumulated.
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  16. E. Geraniou & M. Mavrikis (2015). Building Bridges to Algebra Through a Constructionist Learning Environment. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):321-330.
    Context: In the digital era, it is important to investigate the potential impact of digital technologies in education and how such tools can be successfully integrated into the mathematics classroom. Similarly to many others in the constructionism community, we have been inspired by the idea set out originally by Papert of providing students with appropriate “vehicles” for developing “Mathematical Ways of Thinking.” Problem: A crucial issue regarding the design of digital tools as vehicles is that of “transfer” or “bridging” i.e., (...)
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  17. E. Geraniou & M. Mavrikis (2015). Authors’ Response: Let’s Cross That Bridge… but Don’T Forget to Look Back at Our Old Neighborhood. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):335-337.
    Upshot: This response addresses the main points from the three commentaries, focusing particularly on additional terms and concepts introduced to the bridging metaphor. We further clarify our call for future research in the area and conclude with reflections about the practical implications emerging from our target article and the commentaries.
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  18. C. Girvan (2015). Changing Teacher Beliefs: Moving Towards Constructionism. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):298-299.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Beyond Technocentrism: Supporting Constructionism in the Classroom” by Karen Brennan. Upshot: If we are to move beyond technocentricism, we need not only to equip teachers with pedagogical approaches but to support a change in their beliefs, values and assumptions. While factors such as assessment practices and institutional norms can limit the impact of professional development by considering the ways in which teachers form their teacher-identity and the factors that can motivate change, we can begin (...)
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  19. C. Girvan (2015). Studying Complexity: Creativity, Collaboration and Learning. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):397-398.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Learning about Urban Sustainability with Digital Stories: Promoting Collaborative Creativity from a Constructionist Perspective” by Maria Daskolia, Chronis Kynigos & Katerina Makri. Upshot: Creativity, collaboration and learning are fascinatingly messy and interconnected processes. Does knowledge develop by engaging in a collaborative creative process, or does existing knowledge allow us to create more creative artefacts? Does one build upon the other in a bricolage process, familiar to constructionist learning experiences? If so, how can we best (...)
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  20. B. Harvey (2015). Construction and Deconstruction. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):365-366.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Constructionism and Deconstructionism” by Pavel Boytchev. Upshot: Pavel Boytchev’s article calls attention to the fruitful dialectic between building things and taking them apart: No successful construction without deconstruction. Of course by using the word “deconstruction,” he is also implicitly invoking the critical-theory sense of the term, inviting us to deconstruct constructionism. I found the article fascinating on both levels.
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  21. A. Hjorth (2015). Body Syntonicity in Multi-Point Rotation? Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):351-352.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Elementary Students’ Construction of Geometric Transformation Reasoning in a Dynamic Animation Environment” by Alan Maloney. Upshot: Parnorkou and Maloney’s article presents an interesting, well-structured and clearly described study of children’s reasoning about mental rotations. Specifically, Parnorkou and Maloney deploy the microworld Graphs ’n Glyphs, and use it as a “window on thinking-in-change” as they observe and interview children who use it. Reading the article raised a few questions for me about the role of body (...)
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  22. P. Hoburg (2015). Specifying Revolutionary Sense-Making. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):422-425.
    Upshot: This eclectic collection of essays attempts to make sense of the complexly vexed relation between various modalities of sense-making and non-sense - a relation previously underspecified by enactivist theories and programs of research. As such, the book offers creative conceptual elaboration often augmented by analysis of experimental research in support of the enactivist approach to cognition.
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  23. K. F. Hollebrands (2015). Reasoning in a Dynamic Animation Environment. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):350-351.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Elementary Students’ Construction of Geometric Transformation Reasoning in a Dynamic Animation Environment” by Alan Maloney. Upshot: Parnorkou and Maloney describe how a dynamic animation environment, Graphs ’n Glyphs, supported fourth-grade students’ understandings of translations and rotations. Two elements were critical in their teaching experiment: the design of the software and tasks. This commentary focuses on the decisions that they made and possible implications they had for students’ reasoning.
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  24. W. Holmes (2015). Deconstructionism” - A Neglected Stage in the Constructivist Learning Process? Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):366-367.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Constructionism and Deconstructionism” by Pavel Boytchev. Upshot: Boytchev identifies “deconstruction” as a neglected but essential stage in the constructivist learning process. Drawing on two studies, one in a university and one in a secondary school, for which software was designed to facilitate constructionist student learning, the author argues that the first phase of learning is the decomposition of knowledge into smaller yet meaningful and reusable entities, which are used as building blocks to construct both (...)
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  25. T. Hug (2015). Towards a Delightful Critique of Pure Reason. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):414-416.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Amusement, Delight, and Whimsy: Humor Has Its Reasons that Reason Cannot Ignore” by Edith K. Ackermann. Upshot: Ackermann’s target article strikes a chord by thinking together oblique and rational aspects of knowing in constructivism. Her target article points out uses of humor and various ways of making sense of our experience that have been underestimated in constructivist discourse. While I can agree on the main lines of her argument, I want to argue for further (...)
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  26. I. Jones (2015). Building Bridges That Are Functional and Structural. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):332-333.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Building Bridges to Algebra through a Constructionist Learning Environment” by Eirini Geraniou & Manolis Mavrikis. Upshot: In their article, Geraniou and Mavrikis describe an environment to help children explore algebraic relationships through pattern building. They report on transfer of learning from the computer to paper, but also implicit is transfer from concrete to abstract contexts. I make the case that transfer from abstract to concrete contexts should complement such approaches.
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  27. V. Kenny (2015). All Alone, Together? Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):412-414.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Amusement, Delight, and Whimsy: Humor Has Its Reasons that Reason Cannot Ignore” by Edith K. Ackermann. Upshot: My commentary on this target article departs from the final part dealing with “Ernst-the-rationalist” and attempts to draw out a series of complications in the ways we may understand Ernst von Glasersfeld’s radical constructivism. Special attention is given to the presence of incommensurability and incompatibility, not only between people but more so within any given individual.
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  28. C. Kynigos (2015). Designing Constructionist E-Books: New Mediations for Creative Mathematical Thinking? Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):305-313.
    Context: The article discusses design strategies for infusing constructionism and creativity into widely recognised media such as e-books. Problem: E-books have recently included constructionist widgets but we do not yet have creative designs for readers who may want to both read and tinker with an e-book. Method: The generation and study of a community of interest collaboratively designing e-books, with a strong constructionist element. Results: Some first examples of social creativity in the collaborative design process are discussed in the article, (...)
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  29. C. Kynigos (2015). Author’s Response: Designing for New Mediations: A Constructionist Approach. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):317-320.
    Upshot: The three commentaries focus on the c-book as “object,” on locating the learner in the design process and on the challenge to develop more fine-grained theory for constructionist collaborative design of educational resources. I respond to this delightfully critical discussion in three ways, addressing the c-book as a potentially new kind of mediation, thinking of constructionist collaborative designs as creativity enhancers and considering constructionism as one of the key frameworks for understanding collective designs.
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  30. C. Kynigos & G. Futschek (2015). Re-Situating Constructionism. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):281-284.
    Upshot: Constructionism is an epistemology, a theory of design and a theory of learning. It addresses constructivist learning in individual and social environments where bricolage with digital expressive media plays an important role. This editorial situates constructionism within constructivist discourse, and discusses the potential for constructionism to play an identifiable and important role in a wider educational discourse and theory networking. In this framework, it provides a short synthetic review of the eight papers addressing constructionism from a diversity of perspectives.
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  31. K. Makri, M. Daskolia & C. Kynigos (2015). Authors’ Response: Seeking “Power” in Powerful Ideas, Systems Thinking and Affective Aspects of Learning. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):401-404.
    Upshot: The commentaries raise a plethora of issues, extending the article’s problematic in insightful ways. In this response, we chose to focus on two interesting views on the “powerful idea” in the constructionist sense, on systems versus causal-rule thinking and on the affective aspect of collaborative learning.
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  32. J. Mason (2015). Bringing Reflection to the Fore Using Narrative Construction. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):334-335.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Building Bridges to Algebra through a Constructionist Learning Environment” by Eirini Geraniou & Manolis Mavrikis. Upshot: In striving to support transition or bridging between arithmetic and algebra through software, Geraniou & Mavrikis come up against the need for learners not simply to “reflect” on what they have been doing, but to withdraw from action every so often, consider what actions have been effective, and construct their own narrative to hold together actions and goals and (...)
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  33. R. Noss & J. Clayson (2015). Reconstructing Constructionism. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):285-288.
    Upshot: Constructionism must return to its epistemological roots to make any lasting impact on education. Constructionism should be transformed from a framework of action into ways to conceptualize and record what people actually do in constructionist environments so that theories of knowledge-building acts can be tested and the designing of those environments can be made more effective.
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  34. N. Panorkou (2015). Proposing a Framework for Exploring “Bridging. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):331-332.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Building Bridges to Algebra through a Constructionist Learning Environment” by Eirini Geraniou & Manolis Mavrikis. Upshot: Geraniou and Mavrikis raise the important issue of “transfer,” when students transition from activity in technological tools to paper-and-pencil tasks. In this commentary, I contribute to the conversation by focusing on the relationship between task design and students’ development of knowledge.
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  35. N. Panorkou & A. Maloney (2015). Elementary Students’ Construction of Geometric Transformation Reasoning in a Dynamic Animation Environment. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):338-347.
    Context: Technology has not only changed the way we teach mathematical concepts but also the nature of knowledge, and thus what is possible to learn. While geometric transformations are recognized to be foundational to the formation of students’ geometric conceptions, little research has focused on how these notions can be introduced in elementary schooling. Problem: This project addressed the need for development of students’ reasoning about and with geometric transformations in elementary school. We investigated the nature of students’ understandings of (...)
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  36. N. Panorkou & A. Maloney (2015). Authors’ Response: Planting Seeds of Mathematical Abstraction. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):352-354.
    Upshot: We consider that elementary students’ situated activities with geometric transformations and animation contain the seeds of complex, and eventually, mathematically generalizable and abstract reasoning. Further studies can explore such technologically-based activities’ potential as building blocks for flexible, creative, and formalized knowledge.
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  37. C. Papademetri-Kachrimani (2015). Learning About Learning with Teachers and Young Children. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):370-381.
    Context: Convictions arising from different, separate and distinct domains and paradigms, Papert’s constructionism, literature on play from the domain of early childhood education, complexity theory) agree in favor of a need for a shift in education that will allow children to access what Papert refers to as “hard learning” that consequently leads to “hard fun.” Problem: Nevertheless, such an achievement demands supporting learning in a manner that seems difficult for teachers to comprehend and handle. Method: In this article, we provide (...)
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  38. C. Papademetri-Kachrimani (2015). Author’s Response: School Reform: Is It Indeed Impossible? Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):385-387.
    Upshot: Building on the commentator’s responses to the target article and bringing together all the valuable arguments, I pin down the challenges raised by reconsidering the concern Papert had at some point that school reform is impossible.
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  39. K. Peppler (2015). Tool Selection and Its Impact on Collaborative Learning. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):398-399.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Learning about Urban Sustainability with Digital Stories: Promoting Collaborative Creativity from a Constructionist Perspective” by Maria Daskolia, Chronis Kynigos & Katerina Makri. Upshot: Daskolia, Kynigos and Makri’s article offers us a view into potential applications of constructionist learning theory to help students conceive of and collaborate on solutions to today’s complex problems. This work in many ways parallels the efforts of those investigating systems thinking and highlights the importance of digital production in that process. (...)
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  40. G. Psycharis (2015). Embedding Inquiry and Workplace in a Constructionist Approach to Mathematics and Science Teachers’ Education. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):299-301.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Beyond Technocentrism: Supporting Constructionism in the Classroom” by Karen Brennan. Upshot: Brennan describes ways by which teachers can be supported to bypass a technocentric view of learning with technology in the classroom, from a constructionist perspective. She reports on the development of a corresponding model of professional development by describing the elements of the model and its design principles as well as the tensions that arose while trying to support teachers’ explorations and experiences in (...)
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  41. A. I. Sacristán (2015). Backwards-and-Forwards From the Unexpected: Teachers as Constructionist Learners. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):382-383.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Learning about Learning with Teachers and Young Children” by Chrystalla Papademetri-Kachrimani. Upshot: The activities that Papademetri-Kachrimani presents in her stories create situations that lead to unexpected results, thus opening the potential for learning about learning in teachers’ professional development. These integrate modeling-based learning - arguably a form of constructionism -, and allow learners to move back-and-forth between representations in order to develop strategies and rules.
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  42. M. H. Wilkerson-Jerde (2015). Locating the Learner in Collaborative Constructionist Design. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):315-316.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Designing Constructionist E-Books: New Mediations for Creative Mathematical Thinking?” by Chronis Kynigos. Upshot: Involving professionals in the design of c-books is a feasible and promising way for constructionism to influence large-scale educational practice. However, the role of learners as readers of c-books was unclear in Kynigos’s account. Here I review the critical role that learners play in the conceptualization of educational environments, and I make recommendations for centering learners in the process of collaborative constructionist (...)
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  43. N. Yiannoutsou (2015). Elements of Surprise in Teaching and Learning. Constructivist Foundations 10 (3):383-384.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Learning about Learning with Teachers and Young Children” by Chrystalla Papademetri-Kachrimani. Upshot: In my commentary, I focus on the concept of surprise underlying the design of the learning experience presented in Papademetri-Kachrimani’s target article. I treat surprise as a concept that integrates the creative, open and non-predictable characteristics of constructionist teaching and learning. In my analysis, I show that current technological and societal developments have made these ideas of constructionism more relevant than ever. Within (...)
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  44. D. Baecker (2015). Mysteries of Cognition. Review of Neocybernetics and Narrative by Bruce Clarke. Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):261-263.
    Upshot: Are narratives systems on their own, or rather structures supporting and, if need be, subverting the reproduction of systems? Bruce Clarke inquires into the ability of social systems theory to help understand narratives - and comes across some “mysteries of cognition” concerning the questions of how systems emerge and which of them might be considered self-referential and autopoietic.
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  45. H. Cadenas (2015). The Reality of Ontologies in Luhmann’s Work. Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):210-211.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Ontology, Reality and Construction in Niklas Luhmann’s Theory” by Krzysztof C. Matuszek. Upshot: I discuss the conception of “reality” that Matuszek attributed to Luhmann’s work and the influence of “ontology” on his thought. It is argued that Luhmann’s system theory is based on the distinction system/environment and not on an ontological principle.
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  46. H. Cadenas & M. Arnold (2015). The Autopoiesis of Social Systems and its Criticisms. Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):169-176.
    Context: Although the theory of autopoietic systems was originally formulated to explain the phenomenon of life from an operational and temporal perspective, sociologist Niklas Luhmann incorporated it later within his theory of social systems. Due to this adoption, there have been several discussions regarding the applicability of this concept beyond its biological origins. Problem: This article addresses the conception of Luhman’s autopoietic social systems, and confronts this vision with criticism both of the original authors of the concept of autopoiesis and (...)
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  47. H. Cadenas & M. Arnold (2015). Authors’ Response: On the Criticisms Against the Autopoiesis of Social Systems. Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):196-202.
    Upshot: Firstly, we discuss the main criticisms of our arguments. Secondly, we address the comments and observations on some parts of our article. We conclude with some reflections about the perspectives of the discussion on the autopoiesis concept.
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  48. P. Cariani (2015). How to Become Omniscient in 12 Easy Steps. Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):248-250.
    Open peer commentary on the article “What Can the Global Observer Know?” by Diana Gasparyan. Upshot: From the standpoint of epistemology-centered operationalist, pragmatist, constructivist perspectives, which are firmly grounded in the capacities of limited observers, all omniscient observers in realist ontologies and theologies appear both completely unattainable in practice and conceptually incoherent in their formulations. Nevertheless, these ideas may be useful heuristically.
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  49. G. Corsi (2015). The Concept of Autopoiesis: Its Relevance and Consequences for Sociology. Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):194-196.
    Open peer commentary on the article “The Autopoiesis of Social Systems and its Criticisms” by Hugo Cadenas & Marcelo Arnold. Upshot: I discuss two aspects of Cadenas & Arnold’s target article. The first concerns some clarifications of the sociological importance of the concept of autopoiesis and the second the criticisms of this concept and its applications in the social sciences.
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  50. R. Desmet (2015). Opening a Door to Whitehead. Review of The Lure of Whitehead Edited by Nicholas Gaskill and A. J. Nocek. Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):264-266.
    Upshot: Whitehead has been excluded from contemporary philosophy for a long time. Current fashions in academia have opened a door to Whitehead through Deleuze. The Lure of Whitehead is paradigmatic in this respect. All admirers of Whitehead’s philosophy should rejoice in this evolution - not, however, without realizing that the price is a selective appropriation of Whitehead.
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  51. H. Egner (2015). Believe It or Not!” - It’s About the Truth in Science. Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):221-222.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Ontology, Reality and Construction in Niklas Luhmann’s Theory” by Krzysztof C. Matuszek. Upshot: On an epistemological level, Matuszek argues convincingly that Luhmann’s epistemological ambiguities could be embedded in a coherent constructivist approach. However, what do we gain by being assured of this and why is it so difficult to tolerate ambiguities in an otherwise highly elaborated theory?
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  52. S. Franchi (2015). Which Events is the World Made Of? Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):250-252.
    Open peer commentary on the article “What Can the Global Observer Know?” by Diana Gasparyan. Upshot: While I agree with Gasparyan’s incisive critique of the concept of the “general observer,” her use of the concept of “event” is somewhat ambiguous. On the one hand, she equates “events” to Wittgenstein’s and “configurations of objects” or “states of affairs” and she consider the world as a collection of such states of affairs. On the other hand, she cites Badiou’s work in support of (...)
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  53. M. Füllsack (2015). Who Downed MH-17, or Do Collective Observations Interact Non-Linearly? Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):238-239.
    Open peer commentary on the article “What Can the Global Observer Know?” by Diana Gasparyan. Upshot: I consider the possibility of replacing the global observer with a collective observer and ask whether the insights generated by such a collective observer would have to be considered subject to non-linear interactions.
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  54. I. Gasparov (2015). How We Can Get an Observer Back. Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):237-238.
    Open peer commentary on the article “What Can the Global Observer Know?” by Diana Gasparyan. Upshot: I introduce some distinctions that I hold to be useful for understanding the global observer problem and then sketch a hypothetical scenario that suggests the existence of an observer that is as good as a global one.
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  55. D. Gasparyan (2015). What Can the Global Observer Know? Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):227-237.
    Context: The detection of objective reality, truth, and lies are still heated topics in epistemology. When discussing these topics, philosophers often resort to certain thought experiments, engaging an important concept that can be broadly identified as “the global observer.” It relates to Putnam’s God’s Eye, Davidson’s Omniscient Interpreter, and the ultimate observer in quantum physics, among others. Problem: The article explores the notion of the global observer as the guarantor of the determinability and configuration of events in the world. It (...)
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  56. D. Gasparyan (2015). Author’s Response: Denying the Global Observer. Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):253-260.
    Upshot: I focus on the group of ideas concerning the nature of the global observer and discuss some important terms regarding the idea of global observation. Furthermore, I address the meta-philosophical problem of how the presence or absence of the global observer influences various philosophical and scientific contexts.
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  57. F. Grote (2015). Society as Constructed Ontology? Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):217-218.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Ontology, Reality and Construction in Niklas Luhmann’s Theory” by Krzysztof C. Matuszek. Upshot: The question of whether contingency can be limited concerns the foundations of sociological systems theory as a theory of cognition. This commentary argues that while such limits may seem plausible and apparent at first, they would consequentially give rise to an ontological notion of society within society. Rather, the commentary proposes to understand the limits identified in the target article as social (...)
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  58. P. M. Hejl (2015). Explaining Social Systems Without Humans. Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):189-192.
    Open peer commentary on the article “The Autopoiesis of Social Systems and its Criticisms” by Hugo Cadenas & Marcelo Arnold. Upshot: I argue in favor of not eliminating humans from social theory. My argumentation is based on the “mechanistic” perspective that emerged in the interdisciplinary context of systems theory but that is lacking in Luhmann’s work. Based on defining communication in the constructivist-mechanist tradition, I claim that research on human universals contributes to solving the constructivist problem of how understanding among (...)
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  59. E. Imbeault & P. W. Hughes (2015). Phenomenal Consciousness, Affectivity, and Conation: Where Extended Cognition Has Never Gone Before. Review of Feeling Extended: Sociality as Extended Body-Becoming-Mind by Douglas Robinson. Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):271-273.
    Upshot: Douglas Robinson argues for a revision of the extended mind theory that incorporates intersubjectivity and qualia. Robinson argues that “material extendedness” is less important than accounting for the subjective experience of what he terms “body-becoming-mind,” and that this experience, rather than mere computational equivalence between intra- and transcranial cognition, is the strongest argument in favour of the EMT.
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  60. A. Karafillidis (2015). Ontogenesis, Or: If You Want to Study Ontology, Do Not Use Ontology. Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):214-216.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Ontology, Reality and Construction in Niklas Luhmann’s Theory” by Krzysztof C. Matuszek. Upshot: Matuszek omits the decisive notions of autology and re-entry in order to construe and subsequently find Luhmann’s ontology. What is more, the whole endeavour to discover ontology in Luhmann’s work is questionable. It misses the point that a systems theory based on operative constructivism is obviously developed for researching ontogenetic processes.
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  61. V. Kenny (2015). Transcending Illusions and Illusions of Transcendence. Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):242-245.
    Open peer commentary on the article “What Can the Global Observer Know?” by Diana Gasparyan. Upshot: Starting from the problem of having to write in a language heavily saturated by realism, this commentary limits itself to restating some key notions of radical constructivism, which, by paying attention to the strict limits of what we can claim to know, can more readily eliminate notions such as the “omniscient interpreter.”.
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  62. R. D. King (2015). Does Social Systems Theory Need a General Theory of Autopoiesis? Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):183-185.
    Open peer commentary on the article “The Autopoiesis of Social Systems and its Criticisms” by Hugo Cadenas & Marcelo Arnold. Upshot: The authors claim that it is justified to extend the concept of autopoiesis from its biological origin to other disciplines, predominately those that have a social character. However, the authors do not lay strong enough conceptual grounds to justify this extension of autopoiesis because it is unclear what concept of autopoiesis it is that would achieve this objective, or why (...)
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  63. P. Kügler (2015). Many Possible Observers Instead of the Global One. Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):240-242.
    Open peer commentary on the article “What Can the Global Observer Know?” by Diana Gasparyan. Upshot: Even well-founded criticism of the notion of the global observer does not immediately challenge contemporary metaphysical realism. A viable alternative to the latter, and to far-reaching constructivist positions on the other side, originates in replacing global observation with actual and possible local observations.
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  64. D. Laflamme (2015). Communication is Meaning-Based Autopoiesis. Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):192-194.
    Open peer commentary on the article “The Autopoiesis of Social Systems and its Criticisms” by Hugo Cadenas & Marcelo Arnold. Upshot: Autopoiesis based on meaning is a rich conceptual tool. It would be a pity to reduce it to a few general statements on self-reference in social systems.
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  65. H. R. Maturana (2015). What Is Sociology? Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):176-179.
    Open peer commentary on the article “The Autopoiesis of Social Systems and its Criticisms” by Hugo Cadenas & Marcelo Arnold. Upshot: I discuss the foundations of what I have said in my work as a biologist on autopoiesis, molecular autopoietic systems and social systems. I argue that the theme of sociology should be to understand how is it that we come out of the social manner of living that is the foundation of our origin as languaging and reflecting human beings.
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  66. K. C. Matuszek (2015). Ontology, Reality and Construction in Niklas Luhmann’s Theory. Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):203-210.
    Context: In the literature concerning the theory of social systems, interest in epistemological and ontological questions has increased in recent years. The controversies regarding a realist vs. constructivist interpretation of Luhmann’s theory, as well as the concept of many realities that correspond to many ontologies, deserve attention. Problem: The paper discusses interrelated ontological and epistemological problems in Luhmann’s systems theory, such as ontology and de-ontologization, realism vs. constructivism, contingency and its limits and one vs. many realities. Method: The paper proposes (...)
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  67. K. C. Matuszek (2015). Author’s Response: The Epistemological Argument. Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):223-226.
    Upshot: The commentaries concentrate mostly on ontological issues but overlook the main epistemological argument in my target article. This argument refers to the conditions that make cognition possible, and to the limits of cognition. These are important for two reasons: they have ontological consequences and they limit the theory’s contingency.
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  68. T. Mavrofides (2015). So, What Do You Think About Luhmann’s Ontology? Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):211-212.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Ontology, Reality and Construction in Niklas Luhmann’s Theory” by Krzysztof C. Matuszek. Upshot: Matuszek’s article is about the way Luhmann reshaped but failed to eliminate ontology. I try to contribute with some thoughts about how Luhmann’s theory is in fact based on certain ontological assumptions.
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  69. K. Pavlov-Pinus (2015). Human Knowledge and “As-If” Knowledge of Ideal Observers. Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):239-240.
    Open peer commentary on the article “What Can the Global Observer Know?” by Diana Gasparyan. Upshot: My comments are aimed at certain difficulties and ambivalent statements in Gasparyan’s paper that are necessary to clarify before any productive discussion can start. Particularly, the underlying problem of her research should be made more explicit and internal differentiation of various research contexts should be more precise.
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  70. A. Scholl (2015). Searching and Finding Ontology. Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):218-221.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Ontology, Reality and Construction in Niklas Luhmann’s Theory” by Krzysztof C. Matuszek. Upshot: Matuszek’s article criticizes Luhmann’s systems theory in particular and constructivism in general with respect to philosophical inconsistency caused by some ontological implications of constructivist epistemology. Providing a coherent interpretation of ontology and epistemology is worth the effort in order to solve philosophical problems. However, the question arises of whether philosophical reasoning actually is of any relevance for empirical research. I argue that (...)
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  71. E. Solomonova (2015). Primacy of Consciousness and Enactive Imagination. Review of Waking, Dreaming, Being: Self and Consciousness in Neuroscience, Meditation and Philosophy by Evan Thompson. Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):267-270.
    Upshot: This interdisciplinary work draws on phenomenology, Indian philosophy, Tibetan Buddhism, cognitive neurosciences and a variety of personal and literary examples of conscious phenomena. Thompson proposes a view of consciousness and self as dynamic embodied processes, co-dependent with the world. According to this view, dreaming is a process of spontaneous imagination and not a delusional hallucination. This work aims at laying the ground for systematic neurophenomenological investigation of first-person experience.
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  72. Mog Stapleton (2015). A Dynamic Expedition Through the Affective Landscape. Review of The Feeling Body: Affective Science Meets the Enactive Mind by Giovanna Colombetti. [REVIEW] Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):274-276.
    Upshot: Colombetti’s book is a contribution to the literature of at least three intellectual communities within philosophy and the cognitive sciences: affective science, embodiment, and enactivism. Despite the emphasis on embodiment over the past ten to fifteen years, and the resurgence of interest in emotion in the mid-to-late twentieth century, affect nevertheless remains underrepresented in the philosophy of mind and cognition, even in the embodiment and enactive communities. In her book, Colombetti helps to close this gap in the literature.
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  73. J. Stewart (2015). Missing: The Socio-Political Dimension. Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):185-186.
    Open peer commentary on the article “The Autopoiesis of Social Systems and its Criticisms” by Hugo Cadenas & Marcelo Arnold. Upshot: Cadenas and Arnold argue in favour of deploying the concept of autopoiesis to study human societies. This OPC makes a case for the opposition: autopoiesis is not an appropriate tool for studying human societies, and attempts to do so both miss out key aspects of human societies and, incidentally, damage the concept of autopoiesis.
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  74. H. Urrestarazu (2015). Towards a Consistent Constructivist General Systems Theory. Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):180-183.
    Open peer commentary on the article “The Autopoiesis of Social Systems and its Criticisms” by Hugo Cadenas & Marcelo Arnold. Upshot: Cadenas and Arnold contribute towards a better understanding of what is at stake in the long debate concerning the applicability of Maturana’s autopoiesis concept to social systems. However, their target article has two shortcomings: it does not provide a deeper understanding of the reasons why Luhmann’s adoption of the autopoiesis concept has proved to be sterile after decades of debate; (...)
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  75. R. Vanderstraeten (2015). The Forgotten Temporal Dimension of Luhmann’s Constructivism. Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):212-214.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Ontology, Reality and Construction in Niklas Luhmann’s Theory” by Krzysztof C. Matuszek. Upshot: Matuszek’s article points to some ambiguities in Luhmann’s late work, but the reinterpretations he offers suffer from various sociological and philosophical difficulties. By elaborating on the relevance of time in Luhmann’s operational constructivism, this commentary opens up some alternative interpretations.
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  76. K. Werner (2015). Cognitive Evolution and the Idea of a Global Observer. Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):245-248.
    Open peer commentary on the article “What Can the Global Observer Know?” by Diana Gasparyan. Upshot: I propose a simple way of representing the idea of global observation, broadly understood: a pair composed of an observer and the observer’s location ; the idea of occupying all possible viewpoints at once; the idea of a view from nowhere (no viewpoint. According to the hypothesis proposed in the article, these are all consecutive stages in the evolution of cognition. I elaborate in detail (...)
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  77. M. Zeleny (2015). Autopoiesis Applies to Social Systems Only. Constructivist Foundations 10 (2):186-189.
    Open peer commentary on the article “The Autopoiesis of Social Systems and its Criticisms” by Hugo Cadenas & Marcelo Arnold. Upshot: I reaffirm and extend the notion of social autopoiesis away from mere labels and descriptions to acting physical components of social systems and societies, ranging from subcellular to biological and human. All self-producing biological organisms are essentially societies of interacting components and therefore notions of autopoiesis and social systems are fundamentally, if not definitionally, interrelated. Some examples of real-life applications (...)
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