Earth science student attitudes toward a constructivist teaching approach in Taiwan

Chang, C. Y.
Hua, H. P.
Barufaldi, J. P.
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The National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT)
The notion of constructivism is serving as the underpinning for many of the current reforms in science education and has been one of the most influential themes in science education for the past 20 years. This study was designed to investigate the attitudes of earth-science students toward a constructivist teaching approach. Eighty-six ninth-grade students enrolled in two earth-science classes were chosen to participate in the study. A five point Likert-style questionnaire with ten items was administered to the participants to explore their opinions of this teaching method during a six-week intervention. Results of the affective-domain survey strongly suggest that the students held no particular attitudes toward this learning style; yet, they all expressed their understanding of the advantages of the constructivist teaching method in terms of helping them develop science-process skills, improving their thinking skills, and providing opportunities to apply their own ideas. In addition, we also found that student attitudes toward the teaching-learning approach demonstrated a degree of frustration. They realized the advantages of this instructional method; however, they did not view this type of instruction as being promising because it appeared the approach would not help them perform better on their forthcoming achievement tests.