This paper reports on the transition of the researcher's teaching from before and during an innovation in teaching practice, including 1 year of traditional teaching (1996) and 3 years of teaching based on a constructivist view of learning (1999-2001), in a university physics course in Taiwan. Learning outcomes for each year were evaluated by both standardized conceptual tests and student questionnaire surveys. The results indicated a dilemma the researcher had encountered at an early stage in the teaching innovation, in contrast to the more rewarding outcomes in the longer term. This study indicated the promising yet sophisticated nature of this innovative constructivist teaching. The success of the teaching innovation may not be obtained easily, as criticisms and drawbacks are likely to arise before acceptance is achieved. Conscientious and persistent modifications, based on feedback from the classroom implementation and on understanding of learning theories, are required to achieve success from the teaching innovation.
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