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Learning to Teach and Teaching to Learn: Primary science student teachers´ complex journey from learners to teachers
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
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.
Series
Studies in Science and Technology Education, ISSN 1652-5051 ; 19
Keyword [en]
Experience, reflection, PCK, primary science, student teacher, teacher education
Keyword [sv]
Erfarenhet, lärarstudent, lärarutbildning, naturvetenskap, PCK, reflektion, ämnesdidaktisk kunskap
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-19246ISBN: 978-91-7393-825-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-19246DiVA: diva2:223795
Public defence
2008-09-05, sal R1107, Hus Dormer, Högskolan i Halmstad, Halmstad, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-06-15 Created: 2009-06-15 Last updated: 2010-04-23Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Teaching for understanding: The complex nature of PCK in pre-service education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Teaching for understanding: The complex nature of PCK in pre-service education
2008 (English)In: International Journal of Science Education, ISSN 0950-0693, E-ISSN 1464-5289, Vol. 30, no 10, 1281-1299 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper explores the development of student-teachers' pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) during pre-service education. Four student-teachers in mathematics and science participated in a project teaching physics to students aged 9-11 years once a week over a 12-month period. One-third of the lessons were videotaped and the student-teachers were later interviewed using the videotape for stimulated recall. Participants reflected on their classroom practice based on their conceptual understanding of physics. This empirical study emphasises the role of teaching experience and reflection in science teacher education as a way of better understanding the complex entities that constitute a knowledge base for teaching. The paper draws attention to the value of student-teachers participating in experiences that might contribute to the development of their PCK and supports a view of PCK development as a process of transformation

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2008
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-19242 (URN)10.1080/09500690802186993 (DOI)
Note
On the day of the defence date tha status of this article was Accepted.Available from: 2009-06-15 Created: 2009-06-15 Last updated: 2010-06-01Bibliographically approved
2. From lesson plan to new comprehension: Exploring student teachers’ pedagogical reasoning in learning about teaching
Open this publication in new window or tab >>From lesson plan to new comprehension: Exploring student teachers’ pedagogical reasoning in learning about teaching
2008 (English)In: European Journal of Teacher Education, ISSN 0261-9768Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
Abstract [en]

The research reported in this paper is based on an exploration of the ways in which student teachers learn about the issues and concerns that shape their own professional learning. Shulman‟s process of pedagogical reasoning and action was used as a conceptual framework to systematically elucidate different critical incidents that student teachers experienced and to then apply it as an analytic framework for developing deeper understandings of the complex task of learning to teach primary science. Primary science student teacher participants (n = 22) were stimulated to reflect upon critical incidents in order to facilitate identifying their teaching concerns and teaching needs. The data collected consisted of: (A) the results from questions to the student teachers before the lesson; (B) questions to the school pupils; and, (C) written answers to a questionnaire and audio-recordings of group discussions concerning participants‟ answers to the total data sets (A, B & C). The results indicate that by helping student teachers to focus on critical incidents in their learning to teach they come to question their practice more deeply and through such reflection, gain new insights into teaching as being problematic.

National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-19243 (URN)
Available from: 2009-06-15 Created: 2009-06-15 Last updated: 2009-07-06Bibliographically approved
3. Primary science student teachers’ and their mentors’ joint learning through reflection on their science teaching
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Primary science student teachers’ and their mentors’ joint learning through reflection on their science teaching
2008 (English)In: Journal of Science Teacher Education, ISSN 1046-560XArticle in journal (Other academic) Submitted
Abstract [en]

This paper focuses on what and how primary science student teachers and their mentors learn from planning and reflecting together on each other’s science lessons for pupils aged 7 to 9. The student teachers had had training in scientific knowledge, but only brief experience of teaching. The mentors were well experienced in the pedagogy of teaching and mentoring, but did not feel confident about their science content knowledge and the teaching of science. During a four-week school practicum, two lessons of each of two student teachers and their two mentors were video recorded and later reflected on in a stimulated recall session. During their reflections, the student teachers and the mentors gave concrete examples of their development of subject matter knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, instructional knowledge and knowledge of pupils.

National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-19244 (URN)
Available from: 2009-06-15 Created: 2009-06-15 Last updated: 2009-07-06Bibliographically approved
4. How will we understand what we teach?: Primary student teachers´ perceptions of how to develop subject matter knowledge and a positive attitude towards physics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How will we understand what we teach?: Primary student teachers´ perceptions of how to develop subject matter knowledge and a positive attitude towards physics
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.

National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-19245 (URN)
Available from: 2009-06-15 Created: 2009-06-15 Last updated: 2009-07-06Bibliographically approved

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