therefore, that the theory of pedagogical change sustained the teacher as an agent of the locus of control of knowledge that resides with the externally located curriculum and examination authorities. Thus, the theory failed to address an important cultural constraint that continued to disempower both students and teacher.
This chapter has revealed the limitations of a theory of pedagogical change based on a constructivist theory of knowledge currently popular amongst many science and mathematics educators. The multiple perspectives reported in the chapter have revealed the tenacious and multifaceted character of the problem of teacher centralism and have helped to provide a better understanding of the nature of the constraints that restricted the efficacy of the pedagogical reform process. A cultural anthropological perspective has proved useful for identifying the apparently culturally derived nature of major constraints and suggests that a pedagogical reform process should aim to assist teachers to change the metaphors, images, and myths that sustain their centralist classroom roles. A sociological perspective on knowledge suggests that these key beliefs are established and sustained in the daily discourse between teachers and that radical pedagogical reform might require teachers to engage in a renegotiation of the culture of teaching, rather than going it alone.
Finally, and most important, a critical curriculum perspective suggests that the pedagogical reforms achieved in this study are consonant with establishing the ascendancy of practical curriculum interests that recognize the central importance of students' subjectivities. The establishment of practical interests might be a useful first step towards identifying the socio-cultural influences that tend to deny the centrality of students' subjectivities and disempower them from developing as autonomous intellectuals. Having established these fertile conditions, the next step of a critical constructivist pedagogical reform process is to germinate a critical focus among teacher and students on the constraining influences and to promote collaborative efforts aimed at overcoming them.
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Publication information: Book title: The Practice of Constructivism in Science Education. Contributors: Kenneth Tobin - Editor. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of publication: Hillsdale, NJ. Publication year: 1993. Page number: 294.
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