Williams, J., Eames, C., Hume, A., & Lockley, J. (2012). Promoting pedagogical content knowledge development for early career secondary teachers in science and technology using content representations. Research in Science & Technological Education, 30(3), 327-343.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/6963
Background: This research addressed the key area of early career teacher education and aimed to explore the use of a 'content representation' (CoRe) as a mediational tool to develop early career secondary teacher pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). This study was situated in the subject areas of science and technology, where sound teacher knowledge is particularly important to student engagement.Purpose: The study was designed to examine whether such a tool (a CoRe), co-designed by an early career secondary teacher with expert content and pedagogy specialists, can enhance the PCK of early career teachers. The research questions were: How can experts in content and pedagogy work together with early career teachers to develop one science topic CoRe and one technology topic CoRe to support the development of PCK for early career secondary teachers? How does the use of a collaboratively designed CoRe affect the planning of an early career secondary teacher in science or technology? How has engagement in the development and use of an expert-informed CoRe developed an early career teacher's PCK?Sample: The research design incorporated a unique partnership between two expert classroom teachers, two content experts, four early career teachers, and four researchers experienced in science and technology education.Design: This study employed an interpretivist-based methodology and an action research approach within a four-case study design. Data were gathered using qualitative research methods focused on semi-structured interviews, observations and document analysis.Results: The study indicated that CoRes, developed through this collaborative process, helped the early career teachers focus on the big picture of the topic, emphasize particularly relevant areas of content and consider alternative ways of planning for their teaching.Conclusions: This paper presents an analysis of the process of CoRe development by the teacher-expert partnerships and the effect that had on the early career teachers' PCK. In addition, as the same tools and methodology were applied to both a science and a technology teaching context, differences between the two learning areas are discussed.
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