My Reflections on Radical Constructivism

Journal 2B

My Reflections on Radical Constructivism

(i) What was your learning experience during this topic? (counter-intuitive struggle or reinforcement?)

(ii) What connections did you make with the previous topic (Metaphorical Thinking)?

I write down these reflections by a half exciting and half worry. Exciting because, because I got different perspective of constructivism which I never found in other units. I describe my feeling such as finding the water in the desert, finding the gold in the rock, and finding the needle in the sand. A half worries because I think I am still “floating” in the wave of radical constructivism concept. Hope, within my learning journey I could “swim” but not “sink” into dept thinking of the radical constructivism. Since, I wrote down journals in this unit, I taught that the first journal is difficult because of the first start to understand the concept of constructivism. But, writing the journal two is most difficult experiences for me, not only “burning” my mind but also my heart. It is not only because of the difficult language but also the concept of radical constructivism itself. Moreover, since I learn about the constructivism in other units, I found that radical constructivism is used to criticize by many educators because of the concept of the truth which recognize the individual experiences to making own sense of their physical world. It seems radical constructivism ignore the existence of the world and impossible to be applied in the classroom, especially in science subject. Therefore, my learning experiences in this module give me opportunities to think critically (again) on “the real” concept of radical constructivism.

The most important experience in this unit is I am in the radical constructivism approach to understand the RC concept itself. This unit is designed to encourage my efforts to find the “my own viability” within my problems to understand the concept of RC. I can feel the motivation which is followed by changing my views on radical constructivism. I am happy (J ) that RC doesn’t deny the reality, ignore the conceptual knowledge, and disregard the social interactions. The problem is the way to find the reality and recognize the knowledge as “the absolute truth”. Even though, at the first time, I feel uncomfortable about the concept of the “truth” in the radical constructivism. Because to understand this concept, I found that I have to shift (again) my concepts on misconception, objectivity, observable, measurable, and the acceptable scientific concepts. As a science educator, I used to think that there are wrong and right concepts. It is because of the concept of objectivity and measurable which is most applied in my learning of science concepts. I never think that the “red” colour in my mind could be different colour in others mind. I never think that the knowledge becomes problematic process. The other interesting point that I found in this module is teachers’ beliefs, knowledge and personal experiences on the subject matter are important. I just realized that since I used to force my students to have the same beliefs and knowledge with me. Now, I recognize different levels of conceptions in my students’ mind because of the notion of cognitive itself.

In addition to reflection my pedagogical practices, I am still struggle to understand how to apply this concept of radical constructivism in my classroom, especially in logic subject such as mathematical concept in chemistry. Therefore, my journey is not yet finished, because I become more curious to explore more this concept within my pedagogical practices. My dillemas is still going on how can I struggle with the assessments which mostly consist of the cognitive measurement of students’ “right and wrong” answer. Therefore, I am really interested to explore more the idea of integral perspective by Taylor and Willison to face this reality, even though I realize it will be challenging for me. Moreover, related to the integral perspectives, I am still put my position on it which I find it will help me to dialog with different perspectives such as constructivist and “anti-constructivist”. I couldn’t my self on “anti-constructivist” approach of teaching as well as I also could not put myself only on “constructivist. In addition, the comments EvG on money doesn’t change the philosophy of education and education by giving the “right” answer is not worth. I found the first comment is happened in my country, which the government increased teachers’ salary for better the quality of education, but it seems that the money doesn’t solve that problem. On the second comment I put depth thinking (again) and reflecting on my teaching which I used to guide my students to the right answers. I also point out my struggle on dilemmas of difference perspectives by Paul Ernest note which “it is important that we are consistent and offer each other the same respect”.

Moreover, the metaphorical thinking guides individuals thinking and action within their live activities. I become more understand that how powerful the “metaphor’ to describe the concept, thinking, and philosophy behind certain perspective. Throughout the “construction” metaphor, students have their own freedom to their learning process, because every learner is unique which has own learning process. The metaphor of constructivism contributes the concepts of “making sense, constructing knowledge, and building ideas” which is shaped by the personal and social constructivism. By understanding the metaphor of the world, I recognize the value of my students’ own reality, their truth within the experiential world. Moreover, according Lakoff and Johnson (1980), even the objectivity and subjectivity itself are myths. There is no certainty in the knowledge, word couldn’t give the fixed meaning because of the language, and objectivity becomes uncertain because the different way to view the object and subjectivity can be dangerous which leading to “fly on the sky”. Therefore, metaphor becomes powerful to represent the concepts of knowledge. I would to write many things to describe how’s exciting I am to learn this concept, but rather than the readers, especially Peter is bored with my story, I closed my words with “ terima kasih” to give me this learning experiences. Even though, I still come along with the uncertainty that I have on the right track of understanding the concept of radical constructivism. But, I am happy that I have doubts, dissatisfactions, and snooping to walk trough my journey in this concept and it will be my start journey.


Lakoff, G., & Johnson, M. (1980). Metaphors we live by: The Myths of objectivism and subjectivism. Chicago: The University of Chicago


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