Abstract The aim of this paper is to discuss the relation between teaching and learning. The point of departure is that teaching environments (communication forums) is a potential facilitator for learning processes and knowledge construction. The paper present a theoretical frame work, to discuss student's knowledge construction, in the light of operative constructivism, inspired by the German sociologist N. Luhmann's system theoretical approach to epistemology. Taking observations as operations based on distinction and indication (selection) contingency becomes a fundamental condition in learning processes, and a condition which teaching must address as far as teaching strives to stimulate non-random learning outcomes. Thus learning outcomes understood as the individual learner's knowledge construction cannot be directly predicted from events and characteristics in the environment. This has consequences for ways of organising teaching, and thereby the educational systems approaches to aims, goals, requirements, learning media and tests. The paper invite the educational system to rethink the condition for knowledge construction. The consequence of the systems theoretical approach is an actualization of contingency, and thus you can not predict the learning outcome consequently you cannot predict the individual learner's knowledge construction. The only way a student or a teacher can come a little bit closer to a persons selected understanding is by communication, specific to the concrete context, which means that the student is en focus as a unique person a unique observing system. It means an ongoing iterative selection of interpretations, hence the point of departure, where each system constructs its own environment. And that is the condition for communication, for teaching and thereby for the educational system. Due to the presented theoretical framework the Educational system cannot ensure that the students' knowledge construction is adequate to explicated educational aims. At the same time the society expect that the Educational system fulfil its function, bringing students the intended goals. In the light of operative constructivism this is a paradox and a challenge for the Educational system.
A System Theoretical Inspired Approach To Knowledge Construction: - a Challenge for the Educational System, 2008
Main Research Area:
American Educational Research Association: Research on Schools, Neighborhoods and Communities: Toward Civic Responsibility, 2008