Primary School Teachers’ Opinions and Application Levels Related to Constructivist Approach to the Subjects of “Voice and Light”

Abstract views: 156 / PDF downloads: 125




Teacher Pedagogical Philosophy Inventory, Science Teacher Analysis Matrix, Orientation, Science Learning


In Turkey, constructivism has begun to be implemented in education through the new Science and Technology National Curriculum in 2005-2006 school terms. Since 2005, the teachers have been a part of an altering process in education. This process has been emerged as a change for old teachers in the means of both theoretical and practical. Even though the change has occurred in the mean of theoretical through in-service education, unfortunately this change couldn’t have occurred in practical mean. In this respect, constructivist approach oriented activities should be more allowed for in the in-service education courses to the teachers. The teachers should be encouraged to make practices about constructivist learning. The aim of this study is to determine the opinions and application levels of primary school teachers related to constructivist approach. The sample of this study consists of teachers from six primary schools chosen as low, medium and high socioeconomic status by Ministry of National Education in Turkey. In this study, lesson observations and interview records are used as data collection techniques. The data are analyzed by using grid tables with Teacher Pedagogical Philosophy Inventory and Science Teacher Analysis Matrix. Findings from lesson observations and interview records are compared and interpreted together. As a result of the analysis of the interviews with and observation of the teachers, it is found that all of them, except for two, used non constructivist approaches in their teaching. Other teachers have started to recede didactic (classic-traditional) learning-teaching approaches. Though tree teachers express the non didactic teaching philosophy in the interviews, in the observations, it has been seen that these teachers exhibited wholly didactic teaching learning behaviors.


American Association for the Advancement of Science, (1990). Science for All Americans, New York: Oxford University Press.

American Association for the Advancement of Science, (1993). Benchmarks for Science Literacy, New York: Oxford University Press.

Bredo, E. (2000). The Social Construction of Learning, In G. D. Phye (Ed.), Handbook of Academic Learning: Construction of Knowledge (pp. 3–46). New York: Academic Press.

Brown, S.L. (2002). Theory to Practice: A Study of Science Teachers’ Pedagogıcal Practıces As Measured By the Science Teacher Analysis Matrix (STAM) and Teacher Pedagogıcal Phılosophy Intervıew (TPPI). Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, The University of Tennessee.

Candy, P.C. (1991). Self-direction for Lifelong Learning: A Comprehensive Guide to Theory and Practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Colburn, A. (2000). Constructivism: Science education’s grand unifying theory. Clearing House, 74(1), 9-13. Item 3537008

Ekici, E. (2009). Fen ve teknoloji öğretmen adaylarının fen öğretimi yönelimleri. Yayınlanmamış Doktora Tezi, Eğitim Bilimleri Enstitüsü, Gazi Üniversitesi, Ankara.

Fensham, P. (1992). Science and Technology, In P. W. Jackson (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Teaching (p. 801). New York: Macmillan.

Fleer, M. (1999). Children’s alternative views: Alternative to what? International Journal of Science Education, 21(2), 119-135.

Fosnot, C.T. (1996). Preface. In Catherine Twomey Fosnot (Ed.), Constructivism: Theory, perspectives, and practice (pp. ix-xi). New York: Teachers College Press.

Hoover, W.A. (2005). The Practice Implications of Constructivism. SEDL Letter Volume IX, Number 3: Constructivism. Southwest Educational Development Laboratory., Retrieved date: 16.02.2011

Larochelle, M. & Bednarz, N. (1998). Constructivism and Education: Beyond Epistemological Correctness. In M. Larochelle, N. Bednarz, & J. W. Garrison, (Eds.), Constructivism and Education (pp. 3-20). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Matthews, M.R. (1994). Science Teaching: The Role of History and Philosophy of Science. New York: Routledge.

Matthews, M.R. (2000). Appraising Constructivism in Mathematics and Science Education.

In D.C. Phillips (Ed.), Constructivism in Education: Opinions and Second Opinions on Controversial Issues (pp. 161-192). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

McCarty, L.P. & Schwandt, T.A. (2000). Seductive Illusions: Von Glasersfeld and Gergen on Epistemology and Education. In D.C. Phillips (Ed.), Constructivism in Education: Opinions and Second Opinions on Controversial Issues (pp. 41-85). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

National Research Council (1996). The National Science Education Standards. Washington DC: National Academy Press.

National Research Council (2000). Inquiry and the National Science Standards: A Guide for Teaching and Learning. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Phillips, D.C. (1995). The good, the bad, and the ugly: The many faces of constructivism. Educational Researcher, 24(7), 5-12.

Phillips, D.C. (1998). Coming to Grips with Radical Social Constructivism. In Michael R. Matthews (Ed.), Constructivism in Education: A Philosophical Examination (pp. 139-158). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Phillips, D.C. (2000). An opinionated account of the constructivist landscape. In D.C. Phillips (Ed.), Constructivism in education: Opinions and second opinions on controversial issues (pp. 1-16). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Salish I Research Project Supplement (1997). Secondary science and mathematics teacher preparation programs. Influences on new teachers and their students: instrument package and user’s guide (Iowa City: Science Education Centre, University of Iowa).

Simmons, P.E., Emory, A., Carter, T., Coker, T., Finnegan, B., Crockett, D., et al. (1999). Beginning teachers: Beliefs and classroom actions. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 36(8), 930–954.

Solomon, J. (2000). The Changing Perspectives of Constructivism: Science Wars and Children’s Creativity. In D.C. Phillips (Ed.), Constructivism in Education: Opinions and Second Opinions on Controversial Issues (pp. 283-307). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Steffe, L.P. & Gale, J. (Eds.) (1995). Constructivism in Education. Hillsdale, NJ. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Steffe, L.P. & Thompson, P.W. (Eds.) (2000). Radical Constructivism in Action: Building on the Pioneering Work of Ernst von Glasersfeld. New York: Falmer.

Tobin, K. (Ed.) (1993). The Practice of Constructivism in Science Education. Washington, D.C.: AAAS Press.

Waggett, D.L. (1999), A study of patterns in pedagogical beliefs of pre-service science teachers over three semesters of instruction and associated practice. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.

Von Glasersfeld, E. (1995). Radical Constructivism: A Way of Knowing and Learning. London: Falmer.

Yager, R.E. & Lochhead, J. (1996). Is Science Sinking in a Sea of Knowledge? A Theory of Conceptual Drift. In. R. E. Yager (Ed.), Science/technology/society as reform in science education (pp.25-38). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Duplicated with permission from State University of New York Press.

Yıldırım, A. (1999). Nitel araştırma yöntemlerinin temel özellikleri ve eğitim araştırmalarındaki yeri ve önemi. Eğitim ve Bilim Dergisi. 2(17), 58-79.




How to Cite

Ekici, F., Aldan Karademir, Çiğdem, Uçak, E., & Erhan Ekici. (2011). Primary School Teachers’ Opinions and Application Levels Related to Constructivist Approach to the Subjects of “Voice and Light”. International Journal of Physics and Chemistry Education, 3(2), 112–126.