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Using teacher action research to promote constructivist learning environments in South Africa

Jill M Aldridge
Barry J Fraser
Mokgoko P Sebela


The primary focus was to assist South African teachers to become reflective practitioners in their daily mathematics classroom teaching. The study involved a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods. Quantitative data were collected using the Constructivist Learning Environment Survey (CLES) to assess learners' perceptions of the emphasis on constructivism in the classroom environment. In the first phase of the study, the CLES was administered to 1 864 learners in 43 classes and analysed to determine whether the CLES is valid and reliable for use in South Africa. As well, descriptive analysis was used to generate graphical profiles of learners' perceptions of the actual and preferred learning environment for each class. During the second 12-week intervention phase, two teachers used the profiles to assist them to develop strategies aimed at improving the constructivist orientation of their classroom learning environments. The teachers implemented strategies and maintained a daily journal as a means of reflecting on their teaching practices. At the end of the 12 weeks, the CLES was re-administered to learners to determine whether their learners' perceptions of the constructivist emphasis in their classroom learning environments had changed.

South African Journal of Education Vol.24(4) 2004: 245-253

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2076-3433
print ISSN: 0256-0100