Constructivism in Education

By Leslie P. Steffe; Jerry Gale | Go to book overview

Epilogue

Jerry Gale The University of Georgia

This book metaphorically embodies a journey. The conference was a time for the authors to meet, dialogue, and proceed in new directions. The chapters in the book (in keeping with the journey metaphor) point to many different roads that the conversation can continue in its evolution. Some of these paths cross one another, and others go in very different directions. The chapters present a diversity of ideas and passages. In the closing chapter, Steffe has undertaken the ambitious task of constructing a bridge to open new gateways. Through challenging and integrating the essential themes of the six paradigmatic models, as presented by the various chapter writers, Steffe has erected a graceful catwalk spanning new expanses of the not yet said.

There can be no final chapter to this dialogue. As the conversation builds on itself, constructing, deconstructing, and constructing from the pursuits of earlier discussions, there will always be new avenues to track. However, when people of a common vision--seeking alternative epistemologies for our models of education, therapy, and research--reach impasses, it can be useful to seek a common ground again. Steffe's chapter is such a quest. He has posed a scaffolding to lead the diverse dialogues into new arenas.

In reading Steffe's chapter, I was reminded of a story that Auerswald has told. During World War II, within a span of 1 week, Auerswald was both a prisoner of war of German soldiers and, in a role reversal, the captor of the same soldiers. In this rapid paradigm shift, Auerswald stated that the relationship between himself and the Germans became very unique:

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