ISSN : 1796-203X
Volume : 2    Issue : 3    Date : May 2007

Lifelong Learning, Empirical Modelling and the Promises of Constructivism
Meurig Beynon and Antony Harfield
Page(s): 43-55
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Educational technology is seen as key for lifelong learning, but it has yet to live up to expectation. We
argue that current learning environments are typically oriented too much towards structured learning
to meet the needs of the lifelong learner. Environments for lifelong learning demand a higher
degree of autonomy for the learner, must be open to eclectic sources, support soft informal learning
activity, and accommodate evolution both in the experience of the learner and in the context in which
this occurs. We propose sense-making through the construction of suitable interactive artefacts as
a core activity for lifelong learning, and discuss and illustrate how this can be supported using
Empirical Modelling. The merits of Empirical Modelling as a constructivist approach are assessed
with reference to a criterion recently proposed by Bruno Latour, namely, the extent to which it
strengthens five guarantees, taken together.

Index Terms
Lifelong learning, constructivism, Empirical Modelling, experiential learning, educational technology