Chapter

Affective Dimensions in Chemistry Education

pp 3-27

Date:

Meeting Educational Objectives in the Affective and Cognitive Domains: Personal and Social Constructivist Perspectives on Enjoyment, Motivation and Learning Chemistry

  • Keith S. TaberAffiliated withFaculty of Education, University of Cambridge Email author 

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Abstract

Constructivist ideas about learning have been highly influential in science education over several decades. Debate continues between some educational scholars about the value of constructivism as the basis for informing effective instruction. However, in teaching the sciences, some core constructivist ideas have largely been accepted and indeed commonly even become taken for granted. Most commonly, constructivist accounts focus on learning, either as an individual act of knowledge construction or as participation within a community of practice, and have tended to relate to issues of knowledge and/or authenticity that reflect a cognitive focus. This chapter revisits constructivist ideas about learning to ask what they can offer when considering educational objectives in the affective domain. It is argued that guidance that largely derives from cognitive perspectives on learning often also makes good sense when our focus is on affect. It is suggested that the traditional emphasis of research within the constructivist research programme on what is learnt should be supplemented by a simultaneous consideration of how learning activities are experienced by the students.