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Abstract

Since 1978 many studies have called for changes in the practices of science teaching. These changes in instruction will occur only when the teachers decide to change their practices. This study uses surveys to consider the question of what were the trends in the teachers' recommendations for changes in elementary and junior-high school science programs between the years of 1978 and 1982. Large samples of teachers in British Columbia, Canada, responded anonymously to questionnaires in these years: 3040 teachers in 1978 and 1631 in 1982, with return rates ranging from 77.5% to 85%. These teachers described themselves as shifting their classroom practices toward ones that emphasize passive learning and memorization. The British Columbia Science Assessments recommend more inservice programs to stop this trend. There were very few differences in the teachers' recommendations for changes in the schools. The elementary-school teachers had major changes in their rankings of only two activities: they increased their ranking of “activity-centered learning” and reduced their ranking of “outdoor education.”