Friday, July 21, 2006

Social construct

Educationists in Australia are on a "social construction" kick. How many "multiple and/or conflicting interpretations" can there be for 2+2=4 or for the fact that an educationist would fall on his face if he jumped out of a window? Teachers are to be penalized for presenting factual knowledge:

TEACHERS should present knowledge as a "social construct" open to interpretation rather than undisputed facts, even in maths and the sciences, says a NSW guide to quality teaching.

The Quality Teaching framework, developed on behalf of the NSW Education Department, rewards teachers for presenting "problematic knowledge" in their lessons.

Under a coding system developed to assess teachers, lessons that present knowledge "only as fact and not open to question" score the lowest.

The highest score is given when "knowledge is seen as socially constructed, with multiple and/or conflicting interpretations presented and ... a judgment is made about the appropriateness of aninterpretation in a given context".

"Knowledge is treated as problematic when it involves an understanding of knowledge not as a fixed body of information but rather as being socially constructed, and hence subject to political, social and cultural influences and implications," the guide says. "Knowledge is not treated as problematic when it is presented only as fact, a body of truth to be acquired by students, or is treated as static and open to only one interpretation."

The guide specifically relates the idea of contested knowledge to the teaching of science, saying if it is difficult to see how a subject is problematic, look at its history.
Deconstruction is in full bloom.

3 comments:

"Ms. Cornelius" said...

Good grief, it seems like this has been around forever-- even back when I taught English officially instead of indirectly as a history teacher. How can anyone believe that all knowledge is relative?

Myrtle said...

It's faith-based math!.. If you don't know why it's true you have to accept that it is on faith.

Or maybe it's meth-amatics.

Math as a social construct is flakery as it's best. Perhaps they missed the Alan Sokal hoax.

Instructivist said...

You would think Sokal would have put a damper on this lunacy: http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/