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Implementing Pedagogical Content Knowledge through partnership and relating this to the planning and assessment of practical activities Maarten Tas

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Title: Implementing Pedagogical Content Knowledge through partnership and relating this to the planning and assessment of practical activities Maarten Tas


1
Implementing Pedagogical Content Knowledge
through partnership and relating this to the
planning and assessment of practical activities
Maarten Tas Jon Heywood
School of Education
  • www.le.ac.uk

2
Overview
  • The problem
  • Why implementing PCK
  • What is PCK
  • Secondary Science PGCE course at Leicester
  • The PCK Toolkit
  • The PCK Framework
  • Example of the PCK Framework
  • Assessing Practicals
  • Example of Review of Intended Learning Outcomes
  • General findings
  • Comments from mentors and PGCE students

3
The problem?
  • Science teachers teaching out of specialism may
    become secure in their subject knowledge but may
    not have the pedagogical knowledge to deliver it
    in the most effective ways
  • A shortage of skilled physics and chemistry
    teachers means there may be increasing numbers of
    teachers teaching out of specialism
  • A lack of confidence with unfamiliar topics may
    promote teaching through content delivery
    rather than developing opportunities for Inquiry
    Based Learning

4
Why?
  • Education White Paper (2010)
  • 4.8 Teachers, not bureaucrats or Ministers, know
    best how to teach how to convey knowledge
    effectively and how to unlock understanding. In
    order to bring the curriculum to life, teachers
    need the space to create lessons which engage
    their pupils, and children need the time to
    develop their ability to retain and apply
    knowledge.
  • 4.9 Teachers must be free to use their
    professionalism and expertise to support all
    children to progress. So, in outlining what
    children should expect to know in core subjects,
    the new curriculum will allow a greater degree of
    freedom in how that knowledge might be acquired
    and what other teaching should complement this
    core.

5
Why?
  • Increasingly Science teachers are being asked to
    teach out of specialism
  • Only 259 physics post-graduate teaching students
    went into teaching in 2010 compared to 442
    chemists and 764 biologists.
  • Given the difficulty of getting physics
    teachers, schools must be tempted to appoint
    biologists and hope they can teach physics
  • Good Teacher Training Guide 2010

6
What is PCK?
  • The term Pedagogical Content Knowledge was
    introduced in 1986 by Shulman to reinforce the
    importance of links between
  • teachers subject knowledge
  • pedagogical knowledge
  • understanding of classroom context and
  • the needs of individual learners.
  • PCK deconstructs the strategies successful
    teachers use to allow learners to access specific
    ideas or concepts effectively.

7
What is PCK?
  • PCK includes "the most useful forms of
    representation of topics, the most powerful
    analogies, illustrations, examples, explanations,
    and demonstrations - in a word, the ways of
    representing and formulating the subject that
    make it comprehensible to others
  • Pedagogical content knowledge also includes an
    understanding of what makes the learning of
    specific topics easy or difficult the
    conceptions and preconceptions that students of
    different ages and backgrounds bring with them to
    the learning of those most frequently taught
    topics and lessons.
  • Shulman, 1986

8
Secondary Science PGCE course at Leicester
  • A pilot project took place during 2010-11 in
    which student teachers used a PCK toolkit with
    their school mentors to explore a topic in a
    structured way before planning, teaching and
    evaluating a series of lessons.
  • The collaborative approach was highly rated by
    both students and mentors.
  • PCK is now introduced to all student Science
    teachers and integrated into their approach to
    lesson planning.
  • This was linked to a course activity on, and used
    as a tool to aid, planning and assessing
    practicals.

9
The PCK Toolkit
  • The toolkit comprises
  • PCK framework (Berry and Loughram, 2010)
  • Exemplar frameworks (from literature)
  • Reflective journal
  • Skill level descriptors / rubrics (based on
    Windschitl et al, 2010)
  • The toolkit was designed to provide a structure
    for, and a means of recording, thinking and
    reflection while working through the task of
    creating and working with a framework.

10
The PCK Framework
  • The framework identifies important concepts with
    a topic and encourages reflection on the
    following
  • What you intend the students to learn about this
    idea.
  • Why it is important for students to know this.
  • What else do you know about this idea (that you
    do not intend students to know yet).
  • Difficulties/limitations connected with teaching
    this idea.
  • Knowledge about students thinking (including
    misconceptions) which influences your teaching of
    this idea.
  • Other factors that influence your teaching of
    this idea.
  • Opportunities for How Science Works.
  • Opportunities for Assessment Activities
    (formative/summative).
  • Teaching procedures (and particular reasons for
    using these to engage with this idea).

11
An example of a PCK Framework
12
An example of a PCK Framework
13
An example of a PCK Framework
14
Assessing Practicals
  • The task has three components
  • An overview of intended learning outcomes of a
    series of practicals
  • A review of intended learning outcomes of each
    practical
  • A more detailed evaluation of each practical
  • Were the learning outcomes met? How do I know?
  • What worked well and why?
  • How does this practical session relate to How
    Science Works?
  • What other forms of assessment could I have
    included?
  • How would I change my ILOs for next time?
  • How could I modify the activity to meet the ILOs
    more effectively?
  • What links could I make to other topics?
  • What could I change in my PCK framework?

15
Review of Intended Learning Outcomes
16
General findings
  • Both students and mentors reported significantly
    increased familiarity with the concept of PCK
  • Both students and mentors reported significant
    increases in awareness of the potential for PCK
    as a planning tool and for encouraging
    collaborative planning and sharing best practice
    within departments
  • There was a clear awareness of wider issues
    associated with the topic that would benefit from
    inclusion in the PCK framework notably
    approaches to
  • Assessment for Learning
  • Practical work

17
Comments from mentors
  • Helps to give new ideas and even changes ideas
    after teaching 14 years
  • Made me stop and reconsider what I had done
    previously. I thought in more detail about the
    order I taught learning objectives and how they
    link together
  • It made me think more carefully about what
    pupils do/don't understand

18
Comments from PGCE students
  • It made me think about trying to think of new
    ways to teach the same topic and think about what
    is the best way to explain it
  • Wow, some of the kids in the classit was the
    best they had ever done, they were really proud
    of what they had done
  • I found the collaboration with teachers was the
    most useful
  • I felt a lot more prepared and I think the
    pupils benefited an awful lot because I had
    structured how I was gonna put things across
  • so again building through overall understanding
    of...the topicI could do individual evaluations
    for each practical and look at assessing
    practicals as part of the PCK framework overall

19
Developments
  • Use of the PCK framework is now fully integrated
    into student teachers work on Assessing
    Practicals
  • A train the trainer course is being developed for
    dissemination of Implementing PCK at all
    Science Learning Centres (SLC)

20
Wider implications?
Duggan-Haas et al (2000) suggest clearer links
are needed between Pedagogical Knowledge, Content
Knowledge and other required standards for
Science teaching in the US. Similar potential
exists in the UK for new curriculum developments.
Duggan-Haas, Enfield and Ashmann (2000)
Electronic Journal of Science Education V4 N3.
Accessed 13/4/12 at https//www.msu.edu/dugganha/
PCK.htm
21
Inquiry Based Learning
  • A key component acknowledged in this US model for
    science teacher training is the importance of IBL
    to help students link understanding and
    application.
  • Similarly, we suggest that it is important for
    teachers to link content and pedagogical
    knowledge to consider and develop effective
    Inquiry Based Learning activities.
  • The collaboration with the Science Learning
    Centres will guarantee a wider dissemination of
    the concept of PCK and collaborative curriculum
    development

22
Collaborative Curriculum Development
23
References
  • Berry, A. and Loughram, J. (2010) What do we know
    about effective CPD for developing science
    teachers pedagogical content knowledge? Paper
    presented at the International Seminar,
    Professional Reflections, National Science
    Learning Centre, York. Available as pdf
    https//www.sciencelearningcentres.org.uk/research
    -and-impact/research-seminars/NSLC20UYSEG20semin
    ar20Berry.pdf
  • Education White Paper (2010)
  • Duggan-Haas, Enfield and Ashmann (2000) Content
    and Pedagogy Intersection in the NSTA Standards
    for Science Teacher Education. Electronic Journal
    of Science Education V4 N3. Accessed 13/4/12 at
    https//www.msu.edu/dugganha/PCK.htm
  • Good Teacher Training Guide (2010)
  • Millar, R. and Abrahams, I. (2009) Practical
    work making it more effective. School Science
    Review, 91(334) 5964
  • Shulman, L.S. (1986) Those who understand
    Knowledge growth in teaching. Educational
    Researcher 15 (2), 4-14
  • Windschitl, M., Thompson J. and Braaten M. (2010)
    Fostering Ambitious Pedagogy in Novice Teachers
    The Role of Tool-Supported Analyses of Student
    Work. Paper presented at the International
    Seminar, Professional Reflections, National
    Science Learning Centre, York. Available as pdf
    https//www.sciencelearningcentres.org.uk/research
    -and-impact/research-seminars/NSLC20UYSEG20semin
    ar20windschitl.pdf
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