FocusReality independent of knowers
- Knowledge is … all of external reality
- Knowing is … perceptions of reality
- Learner is … an inner being (insulated and isolated from the world)
- Learning is … perceiving
- Teaching is … conveying
OriginatedAncient (entrenched in the language)
SynopsisBroadly speaking, Realism is the idea that objects exist independent of agents/knowers who might interact with them. That is, the world exists independent of minds.
- Naïve Realism (Direct Realism) – the idea that the one’s perceptions of the world are accurate – that is, one’s senses provide direct awareness of the world as it really is.
- Representationalism (Epistemological Dualism; Indirect Realism; Representationism) – the belief that the world one perceives in one’s mind is not reality, but an internal copy/replica/representation of reality
- Logical Realism (Logical Objectivism; Anti-Psychologism) – a discourse that assert or assumes that logical truths, such as mathematical concepts, exist independently of human thinking
CommentaryMany commentators have noted that, in our most unguarded moments, almost every human is not just a realist, but a naïve realist. We tend to move through the world on the assumption that what we are perceiving is the world as it really is. Phrased differently, Realism prevails among humans – even among the most critical humans. It is the common-sense backdrop of most human activity.
Authors and/or Prominent InfluencesDiffuse
Status as a Theory of LearningRealism is usually identified as a philosophy, but it can also be identified as a theory of learning because it has clear and immediate entailments for how one comes to know – namely, taking in a world through the senses.
Status as a Theory of TeachingRealism is not a theory of teaching, but many educational commentators argue that it the belief is evident in much, if not most of contemporary teaching practice.
Status as a Scientific TheoryIn some senses, Realism is the opposite of a scientific theory. It is certainly not a scientific discourse, although it does serve as the uncritical backdrop for much empirical research.
- Logical Realism - (aka Logical Objectivism; Anti-Psychologism) – a discourse that assert or assumes that logical truths, such as mathematical concepts, exist independently of human thinking
- Naive Realism (Direct Realism) - the idea that the one’s perceptions of the world are accurate – that is, one’s senses provide direct awareness of the world as it really is.
Please cite this article as:
Davis, B., & Francis, K. (2020). “Realism” in Discourses on Learning in Education. https://learningdiscourses.com.
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