Dynamics of a Constructivist Astronomy Course for In-service Teachers
Constructivist instructional strategies have been shown to be effective with K-16 students. Twenty-five in-service elementary and middleschool science teachers were taught astronomy using a constructivist strategy to determine its
effectiveness in teacher enhancement. The teachers were monitored for changes in affective and cognitive domains during a 15-week special astronomy course. Quantitative measurement instruments and qualitative data analysis showed that the teacher-participants, who were exposed to the constructivist instructional environment, had significantly improved attitudes toward teaching
astronomy and had made significant gains in knowledge of astronomy. These observations strongly suggest that using a constructivist instructional strategy in teacher-enhancement programs can create an effective learning environment for teachers that increases subject-matter knowledge and simultaneously improves attitudes, values, and interest levels.