Development of Elementary Science Preservice Teachers’ Content and Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Teaching Energy Using Content Representation Model

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2023-12

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Abstract

Many science teachers face challenges in teaching science effectively. This problem has been largely attributed to teachers’ inadequacy in transforming science content knowledge into pedagogy, making the content understandable to students. The Content Representation (CoRe) model presumably supports science teachers in developing science content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge central to teaching specific science topics in methods courses and thus in teaching practices. This dissertation explored the influences of CoRe instructional intervention embedded in the science methods course module on elementary science preservice teachers’ knowledge of a specific science topic, energy, in their lesson plans and lessons. The relationships between preservice teachers’ quality use of specific science content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge were also examined. Framed by the theoretical perspectives of energy content for elementary science, science pedagogical content knowledge, and the CoRe model, it reviewed the relevant empirical literature central to its research questions and identified its limitations. This dissertation reveals that participants improved significantly their overall and specific energy content knowledge after the CoRe exposure. The quality of their use of specific energy forms and transfers content in lesson plans and lessons was consistent as above and below average respectively while that of overall energy content was below average in lesson plans and above average in lessons. Their quality use of overall and three specific energy pedagogical content knowledge in lesson plans and lessons also remained at above average level except the learning difficulty at below average level. A positively significant relationship between participants’ understanding of overall energy content and pedagogical content existed in lesson plans but disappeared in lessons. Positively significant relationship also existed between specific energy transfers content and pedagogical content components of science curriculum and assessment in lesson plans. Participants’ overall energy content developed in the methods course strongly and positively influenced such knowledge in lesson plans but not in lessons. Their understanding of overall energy content in the methods course predicted their quality use of overall pedagogical content knowledge in lesson plans but failed to do so in lessons. Their knowledge of specific energy forms content knowledge in the methods course strongly and positively influenced their quality use of specific pedagogical content components regarding science curriculum and instructional strategy in lesson plans. Still, it failed to influence other components of pedagogical content knowledge in lesson plans and lessons. Participants’ specific energy transfers content knowledge developed in methods courses failed to influence their quality use of overall and specific pedagogical content knowledge in lesson plans and lessons.


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Keywords

preservice teachers, content representation, science content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge

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