Volume 6 · Number 2 · Pages 140–149
Ernst von Glasersfeld and the Italian Operational School: Didactic Implications of Operational Awareness

Pino Parini

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Context: Ernst von Glasersfeld collaborated with the Italian Operational School from the early 1960s when the project on the mechanization of higher human activities began. Problem: To analyze the cognitive processes in terms of a mnemonic-attentional dynamic and to study every thought content in light of the interdependence between observer and observed. Method: The project comprised two research areas: the linguistic translation, in which von Glasersfeld participated; and the semantic analysis of words, in which I participated. The common basis was the analysis of attentional dynamisms. This allowed the syntactic complexity of a sentence to be transferred to the correlational structure of the thought. The semantic analysis, especially of the observational words, was based on the attentional dynamisms used for the categorization, perception, and representation processes. Results: The analysis of visual processes led to the “constitutive structures.” These structures allowed me to establish an operative didactic based on the awareness of mental operations. Implications: The comparison between von Glasersfeld’s and my experiences revealed the equivalence of some analyses, which was due to the common presumption that the experiential units depend on the operation performed by the perceiver.

Key words: constitutive structure, attention, vision, experience, cognitive processes, Silvio Ceccato


Parini P. (2011) Ernst von Glasersfeld and the italian operational school: Didactic implications of operational awareness. Constructivist Foundations 6(2): 140–149. http://constructivist.info/6/2/140

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