A Study on science teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge and content knowledge regarding cell division

Şen, Mehmet
This study attempted to investigate in-service science teachers’ content knowledge including substantive and syntactic structures and pedagogical content knowledge regarding cell division. Data were collected from three experienced science teachers (two males and one female) teaching cell division in 8th grade level in private middle schools through pre-interviews, observations, post-interviews and teacher documents in this multiple case study. Participants were found to have lack of knowledge in nature of science referring syntactic structures and they had lack of substantive knowledge in association between cell division and genetics as substantive structures. Moreover, participants could not pass to the process category in cell division terms showing that teachers might have problems in teaching cell division topics. Participants’ findings about PCK revealed that science teachers’ orientation towards science was based on the transmission of curricular objectives referring subject matter goals. Regarding knowledge of curriculum; although science teachers was aware the curricular objectives and could link vertical and horizontal relations, they presented advance level knowledge violating curriculum. Furthermore, science teachers could recognize students’ misconceptions; however, they had insufficient knowledge to eliminate misconceptions. This is because science teachers’ lack of knowledge about instructional strategies. Moreover, science teachers had lack of knowledge about alternative assessment technics regarding knowledge of assessments. It is suggested to prepare and conduct professional development programs for in-service teachers including NOS integration for cell division teaching, substantive content knowledge connecting cell division and genetics. Suggested professional development programs should also focus on changing teacher orientation from transmission of knowledge to the student centered orientations. It is also recommended to focus on constructivist teaching approaches and alternative assessment techniques in professional development programs.
Citation Formats
M. Şen, “A Study on science teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge and content knowledge regarding cell division,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2014.