Realism

AKA

Commonsense Realism
Direct Realism
Perceptual Realism

Focus

Reality independent of knowers

Principal Metaphors

  • 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

Originated

Ancient (entrenched in the language)

Synopsis

Broadly 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 ObjectivismAnti-Psychologism) – a discourse that assert or assumes that logical truths, such as mathematical concepts, exist independently of human thinking

Commentary

Many 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 Influences

Diffuse

Status as a Theory of Learning

Realism 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 Teaching

Realism 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 Theory

In 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.

Subdiscourses:

  • Logical Realism - (aka Logical ObjectivismAnti-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.

Map Location



Please cite this article as:
Davis, B., & Francis, K. (2020). “Realism” in Discourses on Learning in Education. https://learningdiscourses.com.


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