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Record identifier : 567266
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : Furbish, Dean Russel
Title and statement of responsibility : A philosophical examination of Mead's pragmatist constructivism as a referent for adult science education [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : North Carolina State University, 2005
Language of the Item : eng
Dissertation of thesis details and type of degree : Ed.D.
Body granting the degree : , North Carolina State University
Summary or Abstract : The purpose of this study is to examine pragmatist constructivism as a science education referent for adult learners. Specifically, this study seeks to determine whether George Herbert Mead's doctrine, which conflates pragmatist learning theory and philosophy of natural science, might facilitate (a) scientific concept acquisition, (b) learning scientific methods, and (c) preparation of learners for careers in science and science-related areas. A philosophical examination of Mead's doctrine in light of these three criteria has determined that pragmatist constructivism is not a viable science education referent for adult learners. Mead's pragmatist constructivism does not portray scientific knowledge or scientific methods as they are understood by practicing scientists themselves, that is, according to scientific realism. Thus, employment of pragmatist constructivism does not adequately prepare future practitioners for careers in science-related areas. Mead's metaphysics does not allow him to commit to the existence of the unobservable objects of science such as molecular cellulose or mosquito-borne malarial parasites. Mead's anti-realist metaphysics also affects his conception of scientific methods. Because Mead does not commit existentially to the unobservable objects of realist science, Mead's science does not seek to determine what causal role if any the hypothetical objects that scientists routinely posit while theorizing might play in observable phenomena. Instead, constructivist pragmatism promotes subjective epistemology and instrumental methods. The implication for learning science is that students are encouraged to derive scientific concepts based on a combination of personal experience and personal meaningfulness. Contrary to pragmatist constructivism, however, scientific concepts do not arise inductively from subjective experience driven by personal interests. The broader implication of this study for adult education is that the philosophically laden claims of constructivist learning theories need to be identified and assessed independently of any empirical support that these learning theories might enjoy. This in turn calls for educational experiences for graduate students of education that incorporate philosophical understanding such that future educators might be able to recognize and weigh the philosophically laden claims of adult learning theories..
Topical Name Used as Subject : Adult education, Continuing education, Educational theory, Science education
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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