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ERIC Number: ED403988
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Jan
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Constructivist Approach to Science and Technology.
Birse, Margaret
Many primary school teachers feel a lack of confidence in teaching science and technology. This paper aims to demonstrate useful and practical strategies for non-specialist science teachers to use in stimulating a positive scientific attitude among primary school students. It proposes that teachers should strive to develop children's natural inquisitiveness and curiosity about the world around them, and that a constructivist approach facilitates scientific investigation because the curriculum is not teacher-centered. It describes how the constructivist approach uses specific strategies, including observation, designing, making, questioning, prediction, discussion, and recording experiences, which are characteristics of successful scientific inquiry. The paper explains that the constructivist approach to science encourages the process of discovery and learning rather than the "book teaching" of science, and that teachers who use this approach become good role models for developing a positive and successful scientific attitude. It encourages the strategy of using everyday situations to demonstrate basic scientific principles, and the example of investigating melting ice is given as a sample experiment. Three different experiments are created from the concept of melting ice: (1) Does ice melt at different rates in different locations?; (2) Does ice melt quicker on colored surfaces?; and (3) Are all thermoses effective in keeping ice? Each of these experiments is described in detail to show the use of the constructivist approach. (SD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A