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John Dewey (1859—1952) American philosopher and educationist

Lev Semenovich Vygotsky (1896—1934)


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The objectivist view of education is that knowledge is delivered by the teacher to the learner by means of instruction. It assumes that knowledge consists in an accumulation of ‘facts’ which can be thus passed on unchanged from teacher to learner. Such an approach situates learners as passive recipients of education, and discourages critical analyses and conflicting viewpoints which might arise from individual experience or different contexts. It is a model which necessarily limits learner participation and interaction, emphasizing teacher input rather than teacher–learner dialogue. As a consequence, it encourages learner compliance and places control firmly with the teachers. It is challenged by those with constructivist views of education on the grounds that it limits the learner by disempowering them and by failing to encourage individuals to test what they are learning against their own experience, and against their own social, political, and economic interactions with others and with the state. Notable critics of the objectivist approach are Dewey, Vygotsky, and Freire.

Subjects: Education.

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