Popperian Selectionism and Its Implications for Education, or ‘What To Do About the Myth of Learning by Instruction from Without?’

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    • Pages : 379 à 388
    • ISBN : 978-1-4020-9337-1
    • DOI : 10.1007/978-1-4020-9338-8_28
    • Date de création : 04-01-2011
    • Dernière mise à jour : 21-02-2015



    Few educationists are prepared to countenance that in learning all new expectations and other ideas are created wholly from within the individual — that is, by the learner. It is generally assumed there is some transference of information to the learner from the social or physical environment, and the processes of interpretation and construction take place after this basic information has been passively received. Karl Popper's evolutionary epistemology challenges this assumption. Most academics refuse to take Popperian selectionism seriously. Even among those who are familiar with Popper's epistemology, his characterization of learning as ‘imaginative criticism’ goes unheeded; the critical dimension of learning is, of course, acknowledged, but not the centrality of imagination. The case for Popperian selectionism and against the idea of learning by instruction from without needs, therefore, to be restated. This is the first of two tasks addressed in the paper. The second is that of challenging most of what takes place under the banner of formal education.