Over the last 30 years constructivism has represented a widely shared paradigm in educational practice and theory. After pinpointing and examining four major reasons for the prevailing of the constructivist outlook and for the related emergence of what Gert Biesta has called the process of ‘learnification,’ the paper engages with the question of whether constructivism is the best-grounded educational framework to promote autonomy and responsibility in learning and through learning. Indeed, it is argued that constructivism (mainly in its radical version) could risk opening the doors to forms of epistemic solipsism and undermining the very appeal to cooperation, which should be one of the main aims of most educational (constructivist) approaches. Against this backdrop, the paper culminates in an investigation of the educational significance of ‘new realism,’ which has recently been proposed in the philosophical field as a way of countering the constructivist drift.
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