Portraits of Productive Schools

An International Study of Institutionalizing Activity - Based Practices in Elementary Science

By Uwe Hameyer, Jan van den Akker, Ronald D. Anderson, and Mats Ekholm

Subjects: Education
Series: SUNY series in Science Education
Paperback : 9780791425008, 177 pages, August 1995
Hardcover : 9780791424995, 177 pages, August 1995

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Table of contents


1. Learning from Productive Schools

2. IMPACT: A Cross-National Study

3. Contexts of Elementary Science in Four Nations

4. A Dutch Case: Regenboog

5. A German Case: Birkenwaldschule

6. A Swedish Case: Linden School

7. A U. S. Case: The Sheridan County School District

8. Patterns and Examples of Activity-Based Learning in Practice

9. Explaining Institutionalization: Cross-Site Analysis

10. Reflections and Recommendations



Based on the study of successful cases in several countries, this book shows what it takes to put activity-based science programs into practice in elementary schools.


Based on research conducted in four developed countries, this book focuses on the question of how elementary schools with successful activity-based science programs put them into practice and maintain them over the years. In general, activity-based science programs are advocated in developed countries, but are relatively rare in practice. By studying successful cases in several countries this book shows what it takes to make them successful.

Topics discussed include the research approach employed, the educational context within which these cases are set, comparative analysis of the cases, and recommendations for practice.

This book will be of interest to teachers, administrators, and support personnel—as well as to fellow researchers—who wish to introduce and nurture activity-based elementary school science so that it becomes an integral and sustained part of the local curriculum.

Uwe Hameyer is a Professor at the University of Kiel in Germany. Jan van den Akker is an Associate Professor at the University of Twente in The Netherlands. Ronald D. Anderson is Professor of Education, University of Colorado. Mats Ekholm is a Professor at the University of Karlstad in Sweden.