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How will we understand what we teach?: Primary student teachers´ perceptions of how to develop subject matter knowledge and a positive attitude towards physics
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
ICLON Leiden University Graduate School of Teaching, The Netherlands.
2008 (English)In: International Journal of Science Education, ISSN 0950-0693Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

In the research outlined in this paper, it was investigated how different factors, such as practical experiments and subsequent group discussions, contributed to primary student teachers‟ development of subject matter knowledge in combination with a more positive attitude towards physics. During an eight-week course, 40 primary science student teachers worked in groups of 13-14 on practical experiments and problem-solving skills in physics. The student teachers were video recorded in order to follow their activities and discussions during the experiments. In connection with every workshop, the student teachers participated in a seminar; they watched the video recording in order to reflect on how they communicated their conceptions in their group. After the eight weeks of coursework a questionnaire including a storyline was used to elicit the student teachers´ perceptions of their development of subject matter knowledge from the beginning to the end of the course. Finally, five participants were interviewed after the course. The results provided insight into how aspects such as self-confidence and the meaningfulness of knowledge became important aspects in primary science student teachers´ development of subject matter knowledge, and into their development of a positive attitude towards physics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-19245OAI: diva2:223791
Available from: 2009-06-15 Created: 2009-06-15 Last updated: 2009-07-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Learning to Teach and Teaching to Learn: Primary science student teachers´ complex journey from learners to teachers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Learning to Teach and Teaching to Learn: Primary science student teachers´ complex journey from learners to teachers
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis concerns the process of student teachers´ learning to teach primary science and is based on four studies involving primary science student teachers during their teacher education program. The overall question that the thesis intends to investigate is in which ways student teachers’ learning about teaching can be illustrated and understood in terms of the critical aspects that are experienced within their teaching and learning practices. The four papers in the thesis purposefully explore student teachers’ complex journey from learners to teachers and illustrate the processes of learning to teach by highlighting important aspects within that process. In the thesis the concept of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) is used as the knowledge a teacher needs to construct and implement science learning experiences for pupils. Further to this, the thesis brings into focus the importance of teacher educators’ professional knowledge and how that knowledge must impact teacher education practice.

In making explicit student teachers’ experiences and concerns for teaching and learning science, the practices and processes highlighted in this thesis help to inform how to involve student teachers in developing a knowledge base for primary science teaching.

Abstract [sv]

Syftet med denna avhandling är att bidra till förståelsen av hur lärarstudenter utvecklar ämnesdidaktisk kunskap (PCK) för att undervisa yngre elever i naturvetenskap. Avhandlingen belyser och diskuterar lärarutbildningens komplexitet samt olika aspekter av den resa lärarstudenten upplever under sin väg från lärarstudent till lärare. Avhandlingen är en sammanläggningsavhandling med fyra artiklar och en kappa. Den övergripande frågeställningen är:

  • På vilka sätt kan lärarstudenters lärande om undervisning i naturvetenskap för grundskolans tidigare år illustreras och förstås i termer av de kritiska aspekter de erfar i sin undervisningspraktik?

De fyra artiklarna bygger på empiriska studier av lärarstudenter (F-5) i interaktion med barn och VFU-lärare i undervisning i naturvetenskap. I samtliga artiklar samt i kappan analyseras och diskuteras vilken kunskap som behövs för att undervisa små barn i naturvetenskap. Resultatet i artiklarna visar bland annat på: Hur såväl lärarstudenter som VFU-lärare utvecklar sin förmåga att undervisa naturvetenskap genom att planera, undervisa och reflektera tillsammans; vikten av olika metoder för att stimulera reflektion och därmed utveckla lärarstudenters och VFU-lärares förmåga att undervisa yngre elever i naturvetenskap; de kritiska aspekter som lärarstudenter erfar i sin undervisning samt hur dessa aspekter bidrar till en ökad förståelse för komplexiteten i såväl den undervisning och lärande i naturvetenskap; betydelsen av olika kunskapselement samt hur (behovet av) dessa identifieras i undervisningssituationen; exempel på hur lärarstudenter "lär sig" om naturvetenskaplig undervisning genom att undervisa (lär från eleverna).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2008
Studies in Science and Technology Education, ISSN 1652-5051 ; 19
Experience, reflection, PCK, primary science, student teacher, teacher education, Erfarenhet, lärarstudent, lärarutbildning, naturvetenskap, PCK, reflektion, ämnesdidaktisk kunskap
National Category
Social Sciences
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-19246 (URN)978-91-7393-825-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-09-05, sal R1107, Hus Dormer, Högskolan i Halmstad, Halmstad, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2009-06-15 Created: 2009-06-15 Last updated: 2010-04-23Bibliographically approved

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Department of Social and Welfare StudiesFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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International Journal of Science Education
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