Document Type



This study took place within the context of a four-year local systemic reform effort collaboratively undertaken by the Science Education Center at the University of Iowa and the Iowa City Community School District. The goal of the project was to move teachers towards an interactive-constructivist model of teaching and learning that assumes a middle-of-the-road interpretation of constructivism, where hands-on activities are used selectively and purposefully to challenge students' ideas, promote deep processing, and achieve conceptual change. The research focus of this study was to verify the use of students' perceptions and attitudes and the supervisor's ratings as measures of teachers' implementation of interactive-constructivist teaching in elementary classrooms. The question was addressed using a case study of 52 elementary science teachers. This convenience sample was defined by the professional judgment of the expert rater using an eight-dimension checklist/rating rubric. Students' perceptions and attitudes and expert ratings of constructivist science teaching had marginal external validity. Includes in-depth discussion of constructivism and interactive-constructivist teaching.

Publication Date

April 1998