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Science & Technology in the Primary School - 4.0 out of 5 based on 4 votes

The basis of this literature review is to examine the theory of constructivism with direct reference to the teaching of science. In order to do this the literature was reviewed with a direct focus encompassing the following elements: to establish the theoretical underpinnings of the theory; to engage with the research regarding its effectiveness as a learning approach; the influence of this theory and its implications for the teaching of science; and consequently my view of how I wish children to learn science in my classroom incorporating a constructivist approach. The theoretical underpinnings of constructivism draw on the work of theorists such as Piaget, Bruner and Vygotsky. These theorists provided the basis for the teaching philosophy of constructivism which is widely accepted and advocated by current researchers and educators. It “also underpins major recommendations for teaching curriculum documents from around the world (Australian Education Council [AEC], 1991).

In examining the constructivist approach it is important to understand the origins of this particular learning theory. It is derived from the broader learning theory of 'constructivism’. The theoretical underpinnings of constructivism can be attributed to the research of Jean Piaget who emphasised “the active role of learners in the construction of their own knowledge” (Bobis, 2004). As stated in EMS301 forum entry by Amy Amos “Teachers must become the creators of curriculum rather than the dispensers of curriculum developed by others” (Smith, G., 2002, p.586). This determined the role of the student to be integral in the attainment and growth of their learning and the teacher as being facilitator of learning rather than a transmitter of knowledge (Reys, Lindquist, Lambdin, Smith and Suydam, 2004).

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The basis of this literature review is to examine the theory of constructivism with direct reference to the teaching of science. In order to do this the...