ERG SES C 14, Science and Maths Education
School experience is an important component of teacher education programs since experiences pre-service teachers (PTs) get during school placements influence their professional development (Richardson, 1996; Zeichner, 2002). Also, school experience course contribute construction of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). During school experience course, experienced teachers are assigned as mentors who are supposed to be a good model for PTs in terms of how to teach science effectively. As mentioned in the literature, subject matter knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge are viewed as crucial knowledge domains of teachers’ professional knowledge to teach effectively (Abell, 2007). PCK is thought to be a special body of knowledge, a blend of content knowledge and pedagogy that teachers should have for effective teaching (Shulman, 1987). In the related literature, researches on PCK generally focuses on investigating the nature of pre-service and in-service teachers’ PCK (Park & Oliver, 2008), and how to develop their PCK (De Jong, van Driel & Verloop, 2005). However, there have been few study on examining teachers’ PCK from students’ perspective (Halim, Abdullah & Meerah, 2014; Jang, 2011; Tuan, Chang, Wang & Treagust, 2000). Although all of these studies conducted survey questionnaire to collect data, they differentiate in terms of grade level of participants of the study. While Tuan et al., 2000 and Halim et al., 2014 studied with high school students, Jang (2011) examined college students’ opinions on their teachers PCK. On the other hand, the common point of these studies is that teachers’ PCK is highly related to students’ learning. Therefore, it would be better to examine how mentor teachers implement the components of PCK and how PCTs evaluate their mentors’ PCK using teacher observation form. The current study draws on the studies mentioned above but differentiate in term of adopting a qualitative research approach and grade of participants.
In the current study, Magnusson, Krajik and Borko (1999)’s PCK model was used to prepare teacher observation form and shaped the group discussions and by this way PCTs observe their mentors’ teaching practice and reflect their own ideas about mentors’ PCK. Magnusson et al. (1999)’s PCK model is composed of five components: science teaching orientation, knowledge of curricula, knowledge of learner, knowledge of instructional strategies, and knowledge of assessment. In this study, except science teaching orientation components, all components were used.
As known, PCK development is an ongoing process and the first step for PCK development is pre-service teacher education level. During teacher education programs, PTs are prepared for their entire careers as a teacher and they gain foundational knowledge and skills that will facilitate development of their PCK during teaching profession (Korthagen, Loughran & Russell, 2006). The prevailing factors contributing teachers’ PCK development is teaching experience and reflection (Nilsson, 2008). Although teaching experience is accepted as main source for PCK development, PTs lack of this experience. Therefore reflection gain priority in terms source of PCK development in teacher education programs (Van Driel, De Jong & Verloop, 2002). Therefore reflection play important role for PTs to analyze the teaching practices and develop their knowledge about teaching. The first aim of this study is to investigate pre-service chemistry teachers’ (PCTs) perceptions of observing their mentors’ PCK using teacher observation form. The second aim of this study is to investigate PCTs’ evaluations related to using the teacher observation form and discussing the observations about mentors’ PCK.
These research questions guided study were;
- How do pre-service chemistry teachers evaluate the use of teachers observation form in terms of contributing their knowledge about teaching?
- How do pre-service chemistry teachers evaluate observing mentor teachers’ PCK and discussion on these observations regarding contribution to their knowledge on teaching?
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