Higher Education

Elementary Science Methods: A Constructivist Approach, 6th Edition

  • David Jerner Martin Kennesaw State University
  • ISBN-10: 1111305439  |  ISBN-13: 9781111305437
  • 632 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2009, 2006, 2003
  • © 2012 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $194.25
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The text that pioneered a constructivist approach to elementary science teaching is based on two fundamental and complementary ideas: that it’s more important for children to learn how to do science than to learn about science, and that elementary science teachers needn’t know a great deal of science, but rather should be co-inquirers with their students. ELEMENTARY SCIENCE METHODS: A CONSTRUCTIVIST APPROACH, Sixth Edition, features a wealth of exercises, including open-ended inquiry activities that help teacher candidates construct their own conceptualizations about science content and teaching methods. More than 170 process-oriented, open-ended activities, organized by grade level, can be used to encourage children to develop and perform their own investigations. All activities and much of the text content are clearly linked to National Science Education Standards (NSES) for content, professional development, assessment, and teaching. Also included are suggestions for appropriate children’s literature to encourage interdisciplinary learning. The book’s website, Education CourseMate, provides valuable tools and resources such as additional activities and video clips that students can use both in their college course and later in elementary science classrooms.

Features and Benefits

  • Although the constructivist approach that this book pioneered has become more widely recognized, the book’s engaging and accessible writing style, appealing design, and convenient and affordable format continue to make it a favorite of instructors and students.
  • All chapter content--including teaching methods and concepts--consistently refers to applicable national standards of which teachers need to be aware. In addition, each activity is clearly labeled with the corresponding content areas as defined in the National Science Education Standards (NSES).
  • Integrated throughout the text, abundant “Constructing Your Ideas” features present open-ended inquiry activities that students can complete in class to develop their own conceptualizations about teaching science in elementary school.
  • The text offers numerous suggestions for open-ended, process-oriented K–6 instruction. “In the Schools” activities suggest ways to integrate chapter-related science concepts quickly into classroom instruction. “Constructing Science in the Classroom” features offer more in-depth activities, lessons, and experiments, including objectives, supplies, and steps for in-class implementation.

Table of Contents

1. The Science Education Imperative.
2. Science Education Today.
3. The Process of Science.
4. Constructivism in Elementary Science Education.
5. Inquiry.
6: Science Education for Students with Diverse Perspectives.
7: Science Education for Students with Learning Differences.
8. Assessment.
9. The Elementary Science Classroom.
10. Reading, Writing, and Interdisciplinary Approaches.
11. Technology in Elementary Science Education.
12. Concept Mapping in Elementary Science.
13. The Elementary Science Education Professional.

What's New

  • NEW! References and research citations are updated throughout the book, as well as the most recent information on federal education programs.
  • NEW! Expanded and updated coverage of diversity in science instruction includes increased emphasis on practical strategies and accommodations for teaching students with a variety of needs and backgrounds. Content addresses gender-specific considerations, varied learning styles, special needs or gifts, and the most recent information on teaching science to English Language Learners.
  • NEW! This edition presents increased coverage of formative assessment and its role in elementary science teaching.
  • NEW! Updated coverage of instructional technology and the latest technology trends in the classroom, especially using technology to foster scientific inquiry in the classroom. Updates include the use of social networking, wikis, blogs, Web 2.0, etc. In addition, the book’s website, Education CourseMate, includes new TeachSource Video Cases to illustrate concepts in the text.
  • NEW! A new design improves the visual presentation of material, making the book more appealing and aiding student comprehension.
  • NEW! New and improved chapter pedagogy includes new Preview Questions, Chapter Summaries, lists of Key Terms, Video Case integration, and lists of CourseMate resources--all to enhance the learner experience.
  • NEW! Streamlined content in selected chapters reduces the text’s length and provides focused coverage to facilitate student comprehension of key material.

Efficacy and Outcomes


“Well written. Content is presented in a very clear and understandable manner with sufficient real world examples and resources provided. Text is well organized, up to date, and accurate. Rigor level is very appropriate for pre-service teachers just starting in their methods courses. Science teaching is presented as fun and doable.”

— Caroline Burleigh, Baptist Bible College

“Excellent approach and presentation of inquiry-based learning and teaching.”

— Fernando Espinoza, Teachers College, Columbia University


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

Education CourseMate with eBook Instant Access Code  (ISBN-10: 111186232X | ISBN-13: 9781111862329)

Cengage Learning’s new Education CourseMate brings course concepts to life with interactive learning, study, and exam preparation tools that support the printed textbook. CourseMate includes an integrated eBook, quizzes, flashcards, new TeachSource Video Cases, and more. It also includes EngagementTracker, a first-of-its-kind tool that monitors student engagement in the course. The accompanying instructor website offers access to password-protected resources such as an electronic version of the Instructor’s Manual.

List Price = $180.00  | CengageBrain Price = $180.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $180.00

Student Supplements

Education CourseMate with eBook Instant Access Code  (ISBN-10: 111186232X | ISBN-13: 9781111862329)

Cengage Learning’s Education new CourseMate brings course concepts to life with interactive learning, study, and exam preparation tools that support the printed textbook. Access an integrated eBook and chapter-specific learning tools including flashcards, quizzes, videos, and more.

List Price = $180.00  | CengageBrain Price = $180.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $180.00

Meet the Author

Author Bio

David Jerner Martin

David Jerner Martin (Ph.D.) is Professor Emeritus of Early Childhood Education at Kennesaw State University. A gifted teacher and an outspoken advocate of constructivist-based teaching, he is best known as the author of the pioneering text, ELEMENTARY SCIENCE METHODS: A CONSTRUCTIVIST APPROACH, now in its Sixth Edition. Dr. Martin has consulted on constructivist teaching at home and abroad, and was technical consultant with The Weather Channel for The Weather Classroom. He has received several university awards for distinguished teaching and publications.