The Nature of interplay among components of pedagogical content knowledge in reaction rate and chemical equilibrium topics of novice and experienced chemistry teachers

Akın, Fatma Nur
In this qualitative multiple-case design study, I examined the interactions among pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) components of novice and experienced chemistry teachers in teaching reaction rate and chemical equilibrium topics. For this aim, three chemistry teachers who had different levels of teaching experience in chemistry teaching were selected through a process of purposeful sampling. Data were collected through card-sorting task, Content Representation (CoRe) tool, semi-structured interviews, observation of instructions, and field notes. Data were analyzed through three approaches: in-depth analysis of explicit PCK, enumerative approach, and constant comparative methods. Results revealed nine salient features of the interplay of the PCK components: a) The novice teacher’s orientations towards science, in contrast to the experienced teachers, were much broad and non-specific, which impeded the connections among the components, b) The integration of the PCK components was idiosyncratic and topic specific, c) The novice teacher’s PCK maps were fragmented while the experienced teachers’ PCK maps were integrated, d) Knowledge of learner, knowledge of curriculum and knowledge of instructional strategies were central in the interplays of all teacher maps, e) The novice and experienced teachers displayed different levels of complexity in their interactions among PCK components, f) The experienced teachers had much more two-way interactions among PCK components than the novice teacher, g) The experienced teachers were more successful than the novice teacher in translating their knowledge into practice in terms of the integration among PCK components, h) Teacher self-efficacy appeared to play a role in their use of PCK components and constructing interactions among them, and i) All teachers taught the same topics with similar lesson plans and same instructional materials; however, they differed in terms of how effectively they connect the PCK components. Implications for teacher education and suggestions for science education research are presented.