Science teachers' pedagogical content knowledge development during enactment of socioscientific curriculum materials(2019) Journal of Research in Science Teaching. 56, 9, p. 1207-1233 Abstract
The purpose of this study is to provide insight into short-term professionalization of teachers regarding teaching socioscientific issues (SSI). The study aimed to capture the development of science teachers' pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) for SSI teaching by enacting specially designed SSI curriculum materials. The study also explores indicators of stronger and weaker development of PCK for SSI teaching. Thirty teachers from four countries (Cyprus, Israel, Norway, and Spain) used one module (30-60min lesson) of SSI materials. The data were collected through: (a) lesson preparation form (PCK-before), (b) lesson reflection form (PCK-after), (c) lesson observation table (PCK-in-action). The data analysis was based on the PCK model of Magnusson, Krajcik, and Borko (1999). Strong development of PCK for SSI teaching includes "Strong interconnections between the PCK components," "Understanding of students' difficulties in SSI learning," "Suggesting appropriate instructional strategies," and "Focusing equally on science content and SSI skills." Our findings point to the importance of these aspects of PCK development for SSI teaching. We argue that when professional development programs and curriculum materials focus on developing these aspects, they will contribute to strong PCK development for SSI teaching. The findings regarding the development in the components of PCK for SSI provide compelling evidence that science teachers can develop aspects of their PCK for SSI with the use of a single module. Most of the teachers developed their knowledge about students' understanding of science and instructional strategies. The recognition of student difficulties made the teacher consider specific teaching strategies which are in line with the learning objectives. There is an evident link between the development of PCK in instructional strategies and students' understanding of science for SSI teaching.
(2016) Research in Science Education. 46, p. 787-810 Abstract
Modeling is a core scientific practice. This study probed the meta-modeling knowledge (MMK) of high school students who study science but had not had any explicit prior exposure to modeling as part of their formal schooling. Our goals were to (A) evaluate the degree to which MMK is dependent on content knowledge and (B) assess whether the upper levels of the modeling learning progression defined by Schwarz et al. (2009) are attainable by Israeli K-12 students. Nine Israeli high school students studying physics, chemistry, biology, or general science were interviewed individually, once using a context related to the science subject that they were learning and once using an unfamiliar context. All the interviewees displayed MMK superior to that of elementary and middle school students, despite the lack of formal instruction on the practice. Their MMK was independent of content area, but their ability to engage in the practice of modeling was content dependent. This study indicates that, given proper support, the upper levels of the learning progression described by Schwarz et al. (2009) may be attainable by K-12 science students. The value of explicitly focusing on MMK as a learning goal in science education is considered.
Developing a Learning Progression for Scientific Modeling: Making Scientific Modeling Accessible and Meaningful for Learners(2009) Journal of Research in Science Teaching. 46, 6, p. 632-654 Abstract
Modeling is a core practice in science and a central part of scientific literacy. We present theoretical and empirical motivation for a learning progression for scientific modeling that aims to make the practice accessible and meaningful for learners. We define scientific modeling as including the elements of the practice (constructing, using, evaluating, and revising scientific models) and the metaknowledge that guides and motivates the practice (e.g., understanding the nature and purpose of models). Our learning progression for scientific modeling includes two dimensions that combine metaknowledge and elements of practice-scientific models as tools for predicting and explaining, and models change as understanding improves. We describe levels of progress along these two dimensions of our progression and illustrate them with classroom examples from 5th and 6th graders engaged in modeling. Our illustrations indicate that both groups of learners productively engaged in constructing and revising increasingly accurate models that included powerful explanatory mechanisms, and applied these models to make predictions for closely related phenomena. Furthermore, we show how students engaged in modeling practices move along levels of this progression. In particular, students moved from illustrative to explanatory models, and developed increasingly sophisticated views of the explanatory nature of models, shifting from models as correct or incorrect to models as encompassing explanations for multiple aspects of a target phenomenon. They also developed more nuanced reasons to revise models. Finally, we present challenges for learners in modeling practices-such as understanding how constructing a model can aid their own sensemaking, and seeing model building as a way to generate new knowledge rather than represent what they have already learned. (C) 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 46: 632-654, 2009
(2008) Elementary School Journal. 109, 2, p. 199-219 Abstract
Coherent curricula are needed to help students develop deep understanding of important ideas in science. Too often students experience curriculum that is piecemeal and lacks coordination and consistency across time, topics, and disciplines. Investigating and Questioning our World through Science and Technology (IQWST) is a middle school science curriculum project that attempts to address these problems. IQWST units are built on 5 key aspects of coherence: (1) learning goal coherence; (2) intraunit coherence between content learning goals, scientific practices, and curricular activities; (3) interunit coherence supporting multidisciplinary connections and dependencies; (4) coherence between professional development and curriculum materials to support classroom enactment; and (5) coherence between science literacy expectations and general literacy skills. Dealing with these aspects of coherence involves trade-offs and challenges. This article illustrates some of the challenges related to the first 3 aspects of coherence and the way we have chosen to deal with them. Preliminary results regarding the effectiveness of IQWST's approach to these challenges are presented.