Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, Volume 9, Issue 1, Article 3 (June, 2008)
Wheijen CHANG
Challenges encountered in implementing constructivist teaching in physics: A qualitative approach

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Challenges encountered in implementing constructivist teaching in physics: A qualitative approach

 

Wheijen CHANG

Physics Teaching and Research Center

Feng-Chia University, Taiwan/CHINA

Email: wheijen@hotmail.com

Received 29 Feb., 2008
Revised 23 Jun., 2008


Contents

Abstract

The development of constructivism has resulted in teaching modifications in the science classroom. While the majority of the literature has focused on the promising outcomes of the teaching reform, the present study reports various minor but persistent criticisms. This paper qualitatively analyzes skeptical studentsí criticisms regarding the authorís teaching from 2000 to 2004, in her first year university physics classes in Taiwan. An open-ended questionnaire survey was administered seven times during the five-year study. In 2000 and 2001, investigations were conducted twice, during and post each academic year. Different groups of students filled in the survey in different years, giving a total of 618 students who participated in the study. The major concerns of these skeptical students include the increase of cognitive difficulty and learning responsibility, the effectiveness of the teaching performance, and the standards of the course. Many of the criticisms form an opposing opinion to the positive appraisal from their peers. Based on the findings, teaching practitioners might face challenge in grasping the optimal points between enhancing the majority of the studentsí expectations and alleviating the skepticism of a minority of students.

Key words: Constructivist teaching, innovation, physics, challenge, qualitative analysis

 


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