Since the transition from mechanistic input-output learning model typical for behaviorism to cognitive information processing theory, and the constructivist revolution there has been a belief of one educational theory suitable for all disciplines and learning situations. Constructivist concept with its emphasis of activity of individuals, and individual knowledge constructions has dominated the discussion. However, epistemology about knowledge can vary between disciplines. Belief about restricted, unchanged basic knowledge is more common in natural science (e.g. laws of physics), whereas in some areas (arts and other humanities) knowledge is more flexible, interpretational and situational without a common general nature. In constructivism, the latter perspective is well represented. In this theory each student’s own knowledge constructs – not knowledge in general - is focused. This has been criticized by researchers come from realist camp. In this article the critical standpoint is included. Some possibilities as well as limits of each educational theory (constructivism and realism) are brought into question from the perspective of teaching and learning natural sciences.
|Keywords:||Teaching and Learning, Constructivism, Realism, Knowledge|
Professional Postgraduate Student, Department of Veterinary Biosciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland