Science in the Primary Classroom

Topics: Educational psychology, Education, Constructivism Pages: 8 (2122 words) Published: April 15, 2013
As believed by De Boo (2000) and Johnston (1996) children learn best through first hand experiences. Having 'hand's on' experiences is therefore crucial as it allows the child to test their thoughts and actually see them in action. This, in turn, gives children clarity to their ideas and develops pre-existing concepts into being modified or replaced. This 'doing' would also make it more likely that the children retain the information that they have discovered for themselves. Kelly (1955) talks about "everyman being his own scientist" and that pupils learn best when they are actively constructing their own learning. 

Dewey
John Dewey rejected the notion that schools should focus on repetitive, rote memorization & proposed a method of "directed living" – students would engage in real-world, practical workshops in which they would demonstrate their knowledge through creativity and collaboration. Students should be provided with opportunities to think from themselves and articulate their thoughts. Dewey called for education to be grounded in real experience. He wrote, "If you have doubts about how learning happens, engage in sustained inquiry: study, ponder, consider alternative possibilities and arrive at your belief grounded in evidence." Although less contemporary & influential, it has inspired several important educational principles such as: * Discovery learning

* Sensitivity to children’s’ readiness
* Acceptance of individual differences
* Learners don’t have knowledge forced on them – they create it for themselves -------------------------------------------------
A common misunderstanding regarding constructivism is that instructors should never tell students anything directly but, instead, should always allow them to construct knowledge for themselves. This is actually confusing a theory of pedagogy (teaching) with a theory of knowing. Constructivism assumes that all knowledge is constructed from the learner’s previous knowledge, regardless of how one is taught. Thus, even listening to a lecture involves active attempts to construct new knowledge. |

|
The main activity in a constructivist classroom is solving problems. Students use inquiry methods to ask questions, investigate a topic, and use a variety of resources to find solutions and answers. As students explore the topic, they draw conclusions, and, as exploration continues, they revisit those conclusions. Exploration of questions leads to more questions. There is a great deal of overlap between a constructivist and social constructivist classroom, with the exception of the greater emphasis placed on learning through social interaction, and the value placed on cultural background. For Vygotsky, culture gives the child the cognitive tools needed for development. Adults in the learner’s environment are conduits for the tools of the culture, which include language, cultural history, social context, and more recently, electronic forms of information access. In social constructivist classrooms collaborative learning is a process of peer interaction that is mediated and structured by the teacher. Discussion can be promoted by the presentation of specific concepts, problems or scenarios, and is guided by means of effectively directed questions, the introduction and clarification of concepts and information, and references to previously learned material. arison

 
Traditional Classroom 
| Constructivist Classroom 
|
Curriculum begins with the parts of the whole. Emphasizes basic skills.| Curriculum emphasizes big concepts, beginning with the whole and expanding to include the parts.| Strict adherence to fixed curriculum is highly valued.| Pursuit of student questions and interests is valued.| Materials are primarily textbooks and workbooks.| Materials include primary sources of material and manipulative materials.| Learning is based on repetition.| Learning is interactive, building on what the student already knows.|...

References: American Association for the Advancement of Science (1989), Science for all Americans. Washington, DC: Author. 
 
Anderson, R. D., & Mitchener, C. P. (1994). Research on science teacher education. In D. L. Gabel (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Science Teaching and Learning (pp. 3-44). New York: Macmillan. 
 
Appleton, K., & Asoko, H. (1996). A case study of a teacher 's progress towards using a constructivist view of learning to inform teaching in elementary science.Science Education, 80(2), 165-180. 
 
Biggs, J. (1995). Teaching for better learning. In J. Biggs, & D. Watkins (Eds.), Classroom Learning: Educational Psychology for the Asian Teachers (pp. 261-279). Singapore: Prentice Hall. 
 
Carin, A. A. (1993). Teaching modern science (6th ed.). New York: Macmillan. 
 
Cobb, P. (1996). Where is the mind? A coordination of sociocultural and cognitive constructivist perspectives. In C. T. Fosnot (eds.), Constructivism: Theory, perspectives, and practice (pp. 34-52). New York: Plenum. 
 
Driver, R., Asoko, H., Leach, J., Mortimer, E., & Scott, P. (1994). Constructing scientific knowledge in the classroom. Educational Researcher, 23(7), 5-12. 
 
Driver, R., & Oldham, V. (1986). A constructivist approach to curriculum development in science. Studies in Science Education, 5, 61-84. 
 
Education Commission (1994). Quality in school Education: Report of the working group on educational standards: Technical Annex 4F. Hong Kong: Education Commission. 
 
Erickson, F. (1986). Qualitative methods in research on teaching. In M.C. Wittrock (eds.), Handbook of Research on Teaching (3rd ed., pp. 119-161). New York: Macmillan. 
 
Fensham, P. (1992). Science and Technology. In Ph. W. Jackson (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Curriculum (pp. 789-829). New York: Macmillan. 
 
Fosnot, C. T. (1996). Constructivist: A psychological theory of learning. In C. T. Fosnot (Eds.), Constructivisim: Theory, Perspective and Practice (pp. 8-13). New York: Teacher College Press. 
 
Gardner, H. (1991). The unschooled mind: How children think and how school should teach. New York: Basic Books. 
 
Galton, M. (1995). Classroom observation. In L. W. Anderson (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of Teaching and Teacher Education (2nd ed., pp. 501-506). U.K.: Pergamon. 
 
Geelan, D. R. (1997). Epistemological anarchy and the many forms of constructivism. Science and Education, 6(1-2), 15-28. 
 
Glynn, S. M., Yeany, R. H., & Britton, B. K. (1991). A constructive view of learning science. In S. M. Glynn, R. H. Yeany, & B. K. Britton (Eds.), The Psychology of Learning Science (pp. 3-19). Hilldale, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 
 
Hodson, D., & Hodson, J. (1998). From constructivism to social constructivism: a Vygotskian perspective on teaching and learning science. School Science Review, 79(2), 33-41. 
 
Kober, N. (1993). What we know about science teaching and learning. Washington, DC: Council for Educational Development and Research. 
 
Leinhardt, G. (1992). What research on learning tells us about teaching. Educational Leadership, 49(7), 20-25. 
 
Mayer, R. E. (1996). Learners as information processors: Legacies and limitations of educational psychology 's second metaphor. Educational Psychologist, 31(3/4), 151-161. 
 
Millar, R. (1989). Constructive criticisms. International Journal of Science Education, 11(Special Issue): 83-94. 
 
Neale, D. C., & Smith D. (1990). Implementing conceptual change teaching in primary science. Elementary School Journal, 91(2), 109-32. 
 
Novak J. D. (1998). Learning, creating and using knowledge: concepts maps as facilitative tools in schools and corporations. London: Nlawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers. 
 
Novodvorsky, I. (1997). Constructing a deeper understanding. The Physics Teacher, 35, 242-245. 
 
Osborne, J. (1984). Workbooks that accompany basal reading program. In G. Duffy, L. Roehler, & J. Mason (Eds.), Comprehension Instruction: Perspectives and Suggestions (pp. 163-186). New York: Longman. 
 
Osborne, R. J., & Wittrock, M. C. (1985). The generative learning model and its implications for science education. Studies in Science Education, 12, 59-87. 
 
Perkins, D. (1999). The Many faces. Educational Leadership, 57(3), 6-11. 
 
Peterman, F. P. (1991). An experienced teacher 's emerging constructivist beliefs about teaching and learning. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago IL, US. 
 
Slavin, R. E. (1994). Educational Psychology: Theory and Practice (4th ed.). USA: Allyn and Bacon. 
 
Solomon, J. (1987). Social influences on the construction of pupils ' understanding of science, Studies in Science Education, 5(1), 49-59. 
 
Solomon, J. (1997). Constructivism and primary science. Primary Science Review, 49, 2-5. 
 
Spivey, N. N. (1997). The Constructivist Metaphor: Reading, Writing, and the Making of Meaning. San Diego: Academic Press. 
 
Stoddart, T., Connell, M., Stofflett, R., & Peck, D. (1993). Reconstructing elementary teacher candidates ' understanding of mathematics and science content.Teaching and Teacher Education, 9(3), 229-241. 
 
Stofflett, R. T., & Stoddart, T. (1994). The ability to understand and use conceptual change pedagogy as a function of prior content learning experience. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 31, 31-51. 
 
Tobin, K. (1993). Referents for making sense of science teaching. International Journal of Science Education, 15(3), 241-254. 
 
Wilson, E. (2000). Learning concepts. In P. Warwick & R. S. Linfield (Eds.) Science 3-13: The past, the present and possible futures (pp.37-48). London: RoutledgeFalmer. 
 
von Glasersfeld, E. (1989). Cognition, construction of knowledge, and teaching, Synthese, 80, 121-140. 
 
von Glasersfeld, E. (1995). Radical constructivism: A way of knowing and learning. London: Falmer Press. 
 
Wildy, H., & Wallace, J. (1995). Understanding teaching or teaching for understanding: Alternative frameworks for science classrooms. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 32, 143-156. 
 
Yager, R. E. (1991). The Constructivist Learning Model. Science Teacher, 58(6), 52-57. 
 
Yeany, R. H. (1991). A unifying theme in science education? NARST News, 33, 1-3.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Primary Science Essay
  • Using Technology in Primary Classrooms Essay
  • Essay on Misconceptions Within Primary Science
  • Constructivism in the Classroom Essay
  • Science Essay
  • science Essay
  • Science Essay
  • science Research Paper

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free
Infinity Gauntlet Aftermath (2013) (Digital) (F2) (Kileko-Empire) cbr | Bigfoot Presents: Meteor and the Mighty Monster Trucks | Knowing Brother Episode 142