Problem Statement: Exploring the variables that affect teachers‘ teaching approaches in learning environments is crucial to determine their response to new trends. Their teaching and learning characteristics set the success level of the new reforms. In addition, monitoring the usage of constructivist pedagogies and giving feedback about them are other crucial aims of this research
Purpose of the Study: The purpose of this study was to find out the characteristics of primary school teachers which supported them prepare constructivist learning environments.
Method: The data were collected through the Constructivist Learning Environment Questionnaire (CLEQ) and a modified version of Draw a Classroom Teacher Test Checklist (DACTT-C). Draw a Classroom Teacher Test Checklist (DACTT-C) is the modified version of Draw a Science Teacher Test Checklist (DASTT-C). The sample of the study was 115 primary school teachers from schools in Afyon, Turkey. Convenience sampling was used as a sampling strategy.
Findings: The results of the study were primary school teachers‘ gender was not a factor in determining the constructivist characteristics of the primary school, less experienced primary school teachers were more willing to use constructivist principles in their primary school. The primary school teachers‘ drawings were analyzed qualitatively. There were 15 missing drawings in the survey, and consequently researchers scored and evaluated only 100 drawings. Only eight primary school teachers‘ drawings (8%) reflected a student-centered teaching style, 56% of the primary school teachers‘ drawings had both student and teacher-centered characteristics and 36% of the primary school teachers‘ drawings were teacher-centered. Two of the eight student-centered drawings belonged to males and four of the eight drawings belonged to the 0-5 years experience group. Three of the eight student-centered drawings belonged to teachers at master‘s degree and five of the eight drawings belonged to teachers at bachelor degree.
Conclusion and Recommendations: Primary school teachers who had graduate degrees were more open to use constructivist characteristics in teaching and learning. Females and less experienced primary school teachers had higher tendencies to draw student-centered instructional characteristics. Turkish teachers are mostly in a transition process from teacher-centered instruction to student centered instruction. The Ministry of National Education should promote collaboration between senior and novice teachers. Primary school teachers should be supported with pre-service and in-service training programs during the transition process of teacher-centered teaching to a student centered teaching style. For further research, primary school teachers‘ perceptions about constructivist learning environments should be observed in the primary school environment.
Keywords: constructivist learning environments, primary school teachers, teacher characteristics, draw a classroom teacher test checklist, primary school drawings.