Annotated Bibliography of Resources for Educational Reform, Coherent Teaching Practice, and Improved Student Learning
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Tippins, D., Tobin, K., & Nichols, S. (1995). A constructivist approach to change in elementary science teaching and learning. Research in Science Education, 25 (2), 135-149.
The authors use a fictional story to communicate what they have learned from their research and experience with teacher learning and curriculum reform. They create a composite teacher, Mrs. Halfaday, from the teachers they have worked with, and use vignettes and interview data from their research to tell her story. The story is essentially a review of their own research in the form of an engaging narrative that demonstrates the application of constructivism to science teaching. Through this story, we see the change in Mrs. Halfaday's thinking and teaching practice as she participates in a partnership project to examine teachers' beliefs about science teaching and learning. At the beginning of the story, she held the transmission view of teaching; objectivism and control were her key referents. As the group of teachers began to deliberate about what it means to learn, they confronted their personal beliefs and began to modify their visions of science teaching and learning and made commitments to change. By the end of the story, Mrs. Halfaday used constructivism and the belief that students should have control over their learning as her key referents. While the use of this kind of narrative is unusual in research journals, it created a highly accessible and believable account of changing teaching practice.
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