Knowledge evolves through the process of social negotiation and evaluation of the viability of individual understanding. Basically, every conversation or encounter between two or more people presents an opportunity for new knowledge to be obtained, or present knowledge expanded.
In attempting to make sense of the social world, social constructionists view knowledge as constructed as opposed to created.
This paper discusses how social constructionists construct knowledge and argues that social constructionism is concerned with the nature of knowledge and how it is created and as such, it is unconcerned with ontological issues.
Society is viewed as existing both as a subjective and an objective reality. Meaning is shared, thereby constituting a taken-for-granted reality.
Grounded theorists understand knowledge as beliefs in which people can have reasonable confidence; a common sense understanding and consensual notion as to what constitutes knowledge.
If it is accepted that social constructionism is not based on a relativist perspective, then it is compatible with Grounded Theory methodology. Introduction Social constructionism originated as an attempt to come to terms with the nature of reality. It emerged some thirty years ago and has its origins in sociology and has been associated with the post-modern era in qualitative research.
This is linked to the hyperbolic doubt posed by Bacon, the idea about how observations are an accurate reflection of the world that is being observed Murphy et al. Social constructionism is essentially an anti-realist, relativist stance Hammersley, The influence of social constructionism is a current issue within grounded theory Charmaz, and as such an understanding of its core concepts is important in evaluating its impact on the methodology.
It is imperative for those considering grounded theory as a methodology for their research to appreciate the differences between grounded theory as originated by Glaser and Strauss and subsequently remodelled using a constructionist perspective.
Given its current and profound influence on grounded theory, constructionism needs to be understood so that they can better evaluate the nature and validity of the arguments surrounding its use.
It is less interested if at all in the cognitive processes that accompany knowledge. The aim of this article is to familiarise readers with the idea of social constructionism.
Its impact on grounded theory is the subject of a subsequent article. Origins Burr acknowledges the major influence of Berger and Luckmann in its development. In turn they acknowledge the influence of Mead, Marx, Schutz and Durkheim on their thinking.
Their writing therefore constitutes a synthesis of these influences. The origins of social constructionism can be traced in part to an interpretivist approach to thinking. Mead, one of the originators of symbolic interactionism, is the common link.
However, my understanding is that while they may share common philosophical roots, social constructionism is distinct from interpretivism. In common with constructionists, interpretivists in general focus on the process by which meanings are created, negotiated, sustained and modified Schwandt, One of the key issues to look at when examining any Learning Theory is Transfer of Learning.
Indeed, this is such an important idea, that it is a field of research in its own right. Lev Vygotsky and Social Learning Theories Social learning theories help us to understand how people learn in social contexts (learn from each other) and informs us on how we, as teachers, construct active learning communities.
The work of Lev Vygotsky () has become the foundation of much research and theory in cognitive development over the past several decades, particularly of what has become known as Social Development Theory.
In social constructivist classrooms collaborative learning is a process of peer interaction that is mediated and structured by the teacher. Discussion can be promoted by the presentation of specific concepts, problems or scenarios, and is guided by means of effectively directed questions, the introduction and clarification of concepts and.
According to social constructivist theory, cognition and learning exist in a dialectical relationship with the social world, whereby discussion is utilised to resolve cognitive conflict and as a result produces higher levels of mental functioning.
Published: Mon, 5 Dec Constructivist approach is becoming more popular in describing both the process of learning and teaching, it influences new trends .