Constructed Knowing

Maha Bali Everyone welcome to contribute to this Wikipedia style article on Constructed Knowing based on Women's Ways of Knowing. Inspired by Frances Bell post on Forking as (Cultural) Feature

Check out talk page: talk-page-on-constructed-knowledge set up by Frances

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"It is in the process of sorting out the pieces of the self and of searching for a unique and authentic voice that women come to the basic insights of constructivist thought: all knowledge is constructed, and the knower is an intimate part of the known" (p. 137).

Quotes from Women's Ways of Knowing Book

> ## Commentary: > the above may sound like just constructivist theory, but it isn't. Need to clarify differences. Is it in the book or do we need to do this ourselves? Can someone work on this - Differences between Constructivism and Constructed Knowing. This is a start: The key thing for women is reference to "a core self that remains responsive to situation and context" (p. 138)

There is a a sense that the knower has the power to shift frames of reference, reconstruct them according to context, and question current systems of thought. This means rarely asking simple questions based on hypotheses, but instead building a rich context including: " "who" is asking the question, "why" the questions is asked at all, "and "how" answers are arrived at" (p. 139).

> ## Commentary: > These issues become clear when given a particular example as to how women conduct moral reasoning vs. men. Should we include an example here? It seems if we are talking about how constructed knowing is contextual, we should not write about it in the abstract :)

Also: "Constructivists seek to stretch the outer boundaries of their consciousness - by making the unconscious conscious, by consulting and listening to the self, by voicing the unsaid, by listening to others and staying alert to all the currents and undercurrents of life about them, by imagining themselves inside the new poem or person or idea that want to come to know and understand" (p. 141). (see also Martha Nussbaum's Narrative Imagination and Edward Said's Philological Hermeneutics)

## Note: An important aspect of passionate/constructivist knowers is that they do not seek to divorce emotion from thinking as in traditional male notions of rationality.

"Among women thinking as constructivists, connected knowing is not simply an "objective" procedure but a way of weaving their passions and intellectual life into some recognizable whole" (p. 141).

> ## Commentary: > It might be useful to make our own statements about Pedagogical Implications of Constructed Knowing both for female teachers and for teachers who teach female students? (Again, need to get out of the male/female thing as some males may think in this non-dominant way; and some minorities as well. It has some critical pedagogy undertones - need to find the part in the book that talks about that.

Clinchy (1994) states that most women are not as comfortable with CT as they are with “connected knowing”. Clinchy compares “separate knowing” which is based on detachment and scepticism, with “connected knowing” which she says women seem to prefer. In “connected knowing”, the listener/reader first tries to imagine herself in the position of the speaker/writer, trying to understand where they are coming from, biasing herself towards the speaker/writer and empathizing with both emotion and reason. The connected knower believes that in order to understand what a person is saying she must adopt the person’s own terms and refrain from judgment (p. 39) She considers that this is “in a sense, uncritical”, but that it is not “unthinking”, that it is merely a different form of thinking that also involves feeling and a personal approach.

Thayer-Bacon's (1998) "constructive thinking" builds upon Women's Ways of Knowing, and suggests a "dialectical relationship between social beings and ideas that is dynamic, flexible, and reciprocal", while also "addressing cultural influences and political power in theories about thinking" (p. 143). ThayerBacon's concept stresses the contextuality of CT, something which contradicts the CT movement's more abstract notions of CT