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Brian.Hinton@zu.ac.ae, Zayed University, Dubai

Vol 2 No 2, June 2005


The state of science education is similar to that of other disciplines: research shows a clear need for new instructional strategies based on a constructivist model of learning emphasizing conceptual growth, conceptual change and the conditions that support conceptual change.  Practice, however, remains anchored in behaviorist theory and rote methods of learning. “Serious constructivist approaches usually set out to reorganize traditional teaching by including changes of aims, setup of content structures, media, and teaching/learning strategies” (Treagust et al, 1996, p7). Maher and Alston (1990) discuss constructivist reform efforts and the implications for classroom teaching focusing on three issues that arise repeatedly: how to learn to listen to students’ thinking; how to organize classroom activities to support “listening and questioning”; and how to implement forms of assessment that document students’ questions.

This paper describes some constructivist teaching methodology and practices, and highlights their effectiveness as an aid to teaching and understanding in the classroom.

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