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«Conceptualizing Pedagogical Content Knowledge from the Perspective of Experienced Secondary Science Teachers Committee: Julie A. Luft, Supervisor ...»

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Copyright

by

Eunmi Lee

The Dissertation Committee for Eunmi Lee

certifies that this is the approved version of the following dissertation:

Conceptualizing Pedagogical Content Knowledge from the Perspective of

Experienced Secondary Science Teachers

Committee:

Julie A. Luft, Supervisor

James P. Barufaldi

Lowell J. Bethel

Novell W. Northcutt

Carol Fletcher

Conceptualizing Pedagogical Content Knowledge from the Perspective of Experienced Secondary Science Teachers by Eunmi Lee, B.A., M.S.

Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of The University of Texas at Austin in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy The University of Texas at Austin May 2005 This work is dedicated to my mother Ok-Soon Kang for giving me immeasurable love and sacrifice, to my husband Ji-Hoon Kim for being the greatest company and supporter, and to my son Richard Young-Jae Kim for being the source of joy in each step of this marvelous journey.

Acknowledgments Above all I thank God to guide me every moment in my life. I know that it’s a blessing from You that there are so many people to whom I owe thanks and gratitude for guiding me and supporting me throughout this incredible five year journey.

First of all, I would like to thank the four participants in this study for sharing their thoughts and practices with me during the interviews and classroom observations. I hope that the moments we shared will benefit them and their future teaching. I would also like to thank the “Teachers as Mentors” project director Peggy Carnahan for allowing me to study with the participants of the program and for helping me in many ways.

I am forever in debt to my supervisor and mentor, Dr. Julie A. Luft. Whenever I felt overwhelmed or depressed, I was able to get over it, thanks to her emotional support and practical guidance. Without her constant support and feedback, I would not have been able to finish this study. I sincerely hope to continue working with her in the future. Julie, you are my role model as a teacher educator and mentor.

I offer deep gratitude to the other members of my committee who provided me much needed encouragement throughout the last two years: Dr. Barufaldi and Dr.

Bethel, I will forever bear in mind your untiring support and encouragement throughout all my time at UT. Dr. Northcutt, I will remember your help and prompt feedback. Dr. Carol Fletcher, I will keep in mind all the moments that I worked with you.

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Newsome at Northern Arizona University. She helped me pin down the research question for this dissertation at the beginning, and her feedback made it possible for me to complete this study in time. Julie, I plan to conduct further research on the questions that remain.

I would like to thank the staff in the Center for Science and Mathematics Education Gail Seal, Jim Gross, and Sonya Willis for their emotional support and practical help during my time in graduate school. Gail, Jim, and Sonya, everything that I have done at graduate school was possible thanks to you.

I would also like to thank my Texas Regional Collaboratives (TRC) family, including Dr. Kamily Jeily, Sandy Willkins, Joel Blasingame, Marsha Willis, and Kris Mason. The past two years with the TRC provided me lots of experience and pleasure. The lessons that I learned through working with you will greatly benefit my future life and work.

I would like to thank Chris Dolejs and Laura Havlick for carefully reading my draft and editing it. Your services provided me comfort and confidence when publishing the draft.

I am very thankful for the friendship and support that I have received from my fellow graduate students Magnia, La Vergne, Yu-mei, Marsha, Bhaskar, Luis, Brian, Janice, Barbra, Heejoon, Sera, Mischelle, Steve, Pete, and Jeff. Guys, our relationship as colleagues and friends in Science Education will be forever, won’t it?

–  –  –

Austin: Dongrhin, Jeong-Eun, Eunjeong, Jaehee, Mi-Ae, Eun-A, Hyejeong, Sun-A, and Mijeong. The moments that I shared with you guys during the last five years have been the most valuable memories. I hope to have a chance to give back the love and support I have gotten from you. You will forever be with me in my heart and prayers.

I am blessed with the greatest family. Their prayers and love were the driving force toward my success. I especially thank my mother who is with me no matter where I go. Your endless self-sacrifice and love brought my life so many things, including this Ph.D degree. Mom, I love you forever and ever.

Finally, I must thank my husband and my son. I can’t find the words to express my thanks for my husband, Jihoon Kim. The love and support he provided me is beyond words. You showed me how to love by putting up with all my unreasonable behaviors, frustrations, angers, and tears countless times. I am now ready to switch to that role as you complete your dissertation. My eight-month-old son is the source of my energy and joy. He even gave me company during the trip for the final interview and kept the driving safe. I know that. Youngjae, my life has been more blessed because of you. I love you through and through.





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Since the concept of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) was introduced, educational researchers have attempted to describe and capture the PCK of teachers.

However, researchers have failed to reach a consensus in understanding PCK. In an effort to contribute to the literature that conceptualizes PCK, this study investigates how experienced secondary science teachers, serving as mentors to beginning science

–  –  –

observations, lesson plans, and reflective summaries. A case study method was utilized to conduct an in-depth investigation focusing on how the four experienced secondary science teachers revealed PCK throughout their teaching practices.

Grounded theory was employed as the analytic framework for the study. The findings of this study reveal that the experienced teachers’ PCK commonly includes

–  –  –

assessment strategies; (6) teaching strategies; and (7) resources, with specific elements within each component. Based on the interpretation of the data in the study, the seven components were transformed into each teacher’s PCK that represented his or her own expertise, which ultimately functioned as a filter to determine his or her instructional decisions and actions. The PCK conceptualization of each teacher varied, depending upon his or her individual background and teaching situation. This study shows that the concept of PCK is not only a unique knowledge required for teaching science, but also the application of thatknowledge into teaching practice.

–  –  –

List of Tables

List of Figures

CHAPTER ONE

Introduction

Statement of the Problem

Research Questions

Significance of the Study

Limitations of the Study

Overview of the Following Chapters

Definition of Terms

CHAPTER TWO

Overview

Models of Teachers’ Knowledge Bases

Researchers Discussion of Science Teachers’ Knowledge Bases

Definitions of PCK

Nature of PCK

Different Conceptualizations of PCK

Summary

CHAPTER THREE

Overview

Research Design: A Case Study Method

Analytic Framework: Grounded Theory

Researcher Background

Sampling

Data Collection

Schedule and Procedures

Informed Consent

Data Description

x Interview

Classroom Observations

Supplementary Materials

Data Analysis

Validity and Credibility

Summary

CHAPTER FOUR

Overview

Part One

Wendy’s Case

Wendy’s Teaching Context

Wendy’s Components of Knowledge for Teaching Science

Wendy’s component 1: knowledge of science

Wendy’s component 2-a: knowledge of goals

Wendy’s component 2-b: knowledge of students.

Wendy’s component 3-a: knowledge of teaching strategies

Wendy’s component 3-b: knowledge of curriculum organization............. 71 Wendy’s component 3-c: knowledge of resources.

Wendy’s Component 4: Knowledge of Assessment strategies

Wendy’s Conceptualization of Seven PCK Components

Shawna’s Case

Shawna’s Teaching Context

Shawna’s Components of Knowledge for Teaching Science

Shawna’s component 1: knowledge of science.

Shawna’s component 2: knowledge of assessment strategies.

Shawna’s component 3: knowledge of goals

Shawna’s component 4: knowledge of curriculum organization................ 88 Shawna’s component 5: knowledge of students

Shawna’s component 6: knowledge of teaching strategies

Shawna’s component 7: knowledge of resources.

Shawna’s Conceptualization of Seven PCK Components

Roger’s Case

Roger’s Teaching Context

Roger’s Components of Knowledge for Teaching Science

Roger’s component 1-a: knowledge of science.

Roger’s component 1-b: knowledge of students

Roger’s component 2-a: knowledge of goals

Roger’s component 2-b: knowledge of teaching strategies.

Roger’s component 3: knowledge of resources.

Roger’s component 4: knowledge of assessment strategies.

xi Roger’s component 5: knowledge of curriculum organization................. 114 Roger’s Conceptualization of Seven PCK Components

Emily’s Case

Emily’s Teaching Context

Emily’s Components of Knowledge for Teaching Science

Emily’s component 1-a: knowledge of science

Emily’s component 1-b: knowledge of goals

Emily’s component 2-a: knowledge of students

Emily’s component 2-b: knowledge of curriculum organization............. 129 Emily’s component 3-a: knowledge of teaching strategies

Emily’s component 3-b: knowledge of assessment strategies.................. 136 Emily’s component 3-c: knowledge of resources

Emily’s Conceptualization of Seven PCK Components

Part Two

Seven Components of PCK

Knowledge of Science.

Knowledge of Goals.

Knowledge of Students.

Knowledge of Curriculum Organization.

Knowledge of Assessment Strategies

Knowledge of Teaching Strategies.

Knowledge of Resources.

CHAPTER FIVE

Overview

Discussion

Clarification of Shulman’s PCK

Distinctive Terms for the Components of PCK

Practical and Specific Terminologies

Knowledge of curriculum organization

Knowledge of assessment strategies

Inclusive and Comprehensible Elements within Each Component.............. 153 Knowledge of students

Knowledge of teaching strategies

Knowledge of Science and Goals as Base Knowledge

Knowledge of Resources as a New Strand of PCK

Implications

Further Research

Appendix A. Timeline

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Appendix D. First Interview Protocol

Appendix E. Second Interview Protocol

Appendix F. Third Interview Protocol

Bibliography

Vita

–  –  –

Table 1 Overview of Integrative and Transformative models of teacher knowledge. 26 Table 2 Different conceptualizations of PCK

Table 3 Participants demographic information

Table 4. The ratings of each component by the teachers according to the importance to teaching science

–  –  –

Figure 1. The framework of the Standards (NRC, 1996) for professional development

Figure 2. Grossman’s model of teacher knowledge

Figure 3.Conceptual framework of four possible sources of PCK

Figure 4 Tamir’s conceptualization of PCK

Figure 5 Specific timeline of the study

Figure 6 Sequential procedures for data collection and analysis

Figure 7 An example of the process of open coding using NVivo 2.0

Figure 8 Components of pedagogical content knowledge for science teaching......... 56 Figure 9 Wendy’s conceptualization of PCK

Figure 10. Shawna’s conceptualization of PCK

Figure 11 Roger’s conceptualization of PCK

Figure 12 Emily’s conceptualization of PCK

Figure 13. The scope of seven PCK components

Figure 14. The role of knowledge of resources in science teaching

–  –  –

question that will enable researchers to find answers to issues that seem important but remain unanswered (Strauss & Corbin, 1998, p 40).

–  –  –

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS, 1989)

states:

Although creative ideas for reforming education come from many resources, only teachers can provide the insights that emerge from intensive, direct experience in the classroom itself. They bring to the task of reform knowledge of students, craft, and school structure

–  –  –

This statement clearly indicates the crucial role a science teacher would play in implementing reform. Considering a teacher as a core agent in taking action in reform, we acknowledge the basic assumption that teachers possess a body of specialized knowledge acquired through the years of teaching experience and a variety of training just as in other professions, such as architects, doctors, and lawyers.

On the basis of this knowledge, which distinguishes teachers from other professionals, teachers can make pedagogical reasoning and decisions in their practice that will ultimately enhance their students’ understanding of science.



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