Chapter 2: Constructivism, Inclusion, Democracy, and Education - A Deweyan Reflection on the Concept of the Cologne International Teacher Education Laboratory

Meike Kricke, Stefan Neubert


Our essay draws on pragmatist and constructivist approaches in education and connects them with a case study in teacher education, namely the International Teacher Education Laboratory (ITEL) that has been developed and undertaken in the years 2013-2015 at the University of Cologne. We proceed in the wake of the Deweyan tradition of democracy and education and aim to reconstruct this frame for our time by connecting it with components of Zygmunt Bauman’s sociological diagnoses and descriptions of liquid modernity as the condition of social life today. Our discussion contains four elements. First, constructivism will help us to address the relations and perspectives of observers, participants, and agents in culture under conditions of liquid modernity. Second, we will use inclusion as a theoretical perspective to understand claims and challenges of emancipation, democratic beliefs and attitudes, as well as educational growth for all in twenty-first century education and society. Third, democracy in the Deweyan sense will be used as a lense of reflecting necessary conditions of inclusion, namely diversity, participation, and transparency. Fourth, education will be the perspective to embrace the different arguments of our essay and sum up what the other three parts have yielded.

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International Research in Higher Education  ISSN 2380-9183 (Print)  ISSN 2380-9205 (Online)

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