Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Science Teacher Education 14:3 (2003), pp. 147-159. Copyright © 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Used by permission.


Undergirding the science education program examined in this study is a theoretical foundation based upon four cornerstones that reflect scientific inquiry. These four cornerstones are best represented by four key questions: (a) What is science; (b) What are the goals or standards for elementary school science education; (c) What theory describes how elementary school children construct knowledge; and (d) What teaching approach represents the discipline of science, achieves the goals of elementary school science education and accommodates to how children construct knowledge? The learning cycle (Barman & Kotar, 1989; Bentley, Ebert,& Ebert II, 2000; Lawson, Abraham, & Renner, 1989; Marek & Cavallo, 1997) is an inquiry based teaching approach and is the mortar that cements our theory base for science education (Renner & Marek, 1990).