The Application Of Constructivist Strategies In The Teaching Of Upper-primary School Sciences

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The purpose of this study was to assess the application of elements of constructivistrnstrategies in the teaching and learning process of the upper primary school sciencesrnin the Addis Ababa Administrative Region government schools. The sources of datarnwere grade seven science (Biology, Chemistry, and Physics) teachers and theirrnclassrooms. Three data collection instruments were used: classroom observation,rnquestionnaire, and interview. Accordingly, 12 classrooms were observed, 48rnteachers (including those observed) filled questionnaires and 4 teachers (from thosernobserved) were interviewed.rnThe results of the study revealed that the teachers lacked the necessary knowledgernbase to use elements of constructivist strategies in their classrooms. About 30% ofrnthe respondents rated 'strongly disagree' and' disagree' on very important issuesrnrelated to the strategies with only 24.8% strong agreement. Therefore, it can be saidrnthat most of the teachers are guided by traditional philosophies and theories ofrnlearning. However, it is found out that these teachers have the necessary attitude tornuse the strategies. About 98% (with mean value 2.68) rated that thernstrategies/techniques as 'very much useful' and 'useful' for the teaching and learningrnprocesses in their classroomsrnThe assessment regarding the extent of use of these strategies have also shown thatrnthe strategies are only rarely and sometimes used in most upper-primary sciencernclassrooms. Among the observed teachers, only 5.83% of them found applying themrnvery well. The other 28.33% applied them moderately and 36.66% not applied themrnat all. . The analysis of the data collected through questionnaire has also revealedrnthat about 50% of the respondent teachers are only rarely and sometimes applying,rnand about 10% do not apply them at all. However, about 30% of them appliedrnfrequently and always.rnThe most serious factors affecting the use of elements of constructivist strategiesrnare found to be: the lack of facilities such as the laboratories and laboratoryrnresources; the classroom conditions, in general, and also the large number ofrnstudents in a class; student's lack of interest and the textbook/the curriculum.rnThus, urgent in-service training through workshops, and also small-scale trainingrnprograms should be given to the upper-primary science teachers on modern theoriesrnof learning, parlicularly on the philosophical bases to teach science and also on howrnto incorporate elements of constructivist strategies into their classroom teaching. Thernstakeholders, the government and also the general public should seriously think uponrnproviding the necessary facilities. Science teaching should also focus on student'srndevelopments of knowledge, skills in science and also attitudes and interest inrnscience. The serious considerations the textbook designers give to modern theoriesrnand models of learning during the designing of the textbooks will also be very crucial.

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The Application Of Constructivist Strategies In The Teaching Of Upper-primary School Sciences

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