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Theoretical Perspective: Constructivism

Introduction

An assessment strategy might be classified as constructivist to the extent that it (a) elucidates ‘local’, as opposed to ‘universal’, meanings and practices in individuals or social groups, (b) focuses upon ‘provisional’, rather than ‘essential’, and unchanging patterns of meaning construction, (c) considers knowledge to be the production of social and personal processes of meaning-making, and (d) is more concerned with the viability or pragmatic utility of its application, than with its validity, per se (Popkinghorne, 1992). This emphasis on local, provisional, and pragmatic assessment of (inter) personal meanings can be illustrated by a closer consideration of two core techniques associated with a constructivist approach, each of which encompasses many different variations. These include repertory grid technique, which focuses on the content and structure of ...

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