The changing face of content area teaching (2010)

Journal of Applied Research on Learning, Vol. 3, Article 3, 2010

This study looks at changes in instruction methods by content area teachers in the presence of social constructivist theory, which usually encourages collaborative learning and suggests that students use active techniques to build their knowledge.

The authors based their study on a questionnaire completed by content area teachers, who are sometimes called subject teachers, in Western Canada. As well, they carried out follow-up interviews with selected respondents.

In spite of the research validating teaching practices based on collaborative learning, studies suggest that transmission-style, lecture-type teaching and learning predominates in middle school and high school classrooms, the authors say. Tensions exist between present-day theoretical beliefs and the reality of the teaching-learning context, which is often governed by the need to maintain control and cover content in a systematic way in order to meet the constraints of time.

The study’s findings suggest that neither a purely transmission nor a social constructionist approach is the dominant teaching style. Instead, it appears that teachers use an eclectic mix of instructional approaches.

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APA citation
Donna Copsey Haydey, Beverly L. Zakaluk and Stan Straw. The changing face of content area teaching 2010. Web. 23 Jan. 2022 <>
Donna Copsey Haydey, Beverly L. Zakaluk & Stan Straw (2010). The changing face of content area teaching. Retrieved January 23, 2022, from
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