Science Teaching Series

Internet Resources

I. Developing Scientific Literacy

II. Developing Scientific Reasoning

III. Developing Scientific Understanding

IV. Developing Scientific Problem Solving

V. Developing Scientific Research Skills

VI. Resources for Teaching Science


Constructivism is a major learning theory, and is particularly applicable to the teaching and learning of science. Piaget suggested that through accommodation and assimilation, individuals construct new knowledge from their experiences. Constructivism views learning as a process in which students actively construct or build new ideas and concepts based upon prior knowledge and new information. The constructivist teacher is a facilitator who encourages students to discover principles and construct knowledge within a given framework or structure. Throughout this book we emphasize the importance of helping students connect with prior knowledge and experiences as new information is presented, so they can dispense with their misconceptions (7.4-7) and build a correct understanding. Seymour Papert, a student of Piaget, asserted that learning occurs particularly well when people are engaged in constructing a product. Papert’s approach, known as constructionism, is facilitated by model building (12.5), robotics, video editing (16.5), and similar construction projects.


See also Chapter 6 from the Sourcebook for Teaching Science.