Publication 8238

Hand B. & Treagust D. F. (1994) Teachers’ thoughts about changing to constructivist teaching/learning approaches within junior secondary science classrooms. Journal of Education for Teaching 20(1): 97–112. Fulltext at
This paper addresses the change in teachers’ thoughts as they progress through an inservice program. The aim of the inservice program was to encourage teachers to implement and reflect on constructivist approaches to teaching and learning within the junior secondary school area. The program itself was centred on constructivist philosophy, as a means to guide the program and to model constructivist approaches for the teachers. Prior to the inservice program teachers were asked three major focal questions: How do children learn?; What teaching strategies do you use?; and Who controls learning? On completion of the program these questions were again used to examine the participating teachers’ thoughts. Results indicated that there was a distinct change in the way that the teachers viewed the classroom. These changes addressed issues such as the separation of control of learning from management, the valuing of student knowledge and the need to involve students within the learning process.

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