Beginning and Experienced Physics Teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Instructional Practices

Project Number
OER 08/11 ISC

Project Duration
January 2012 - September 2015


We aim to tackle the formidable challenge of exploring the association among teacher knowledge, teaching practice and student learning in one study that is focused on science teachers. In studying teacher knowledge, we will concentrate on beginning teachers (with three years or less of teaching experience) and experienced teachers’(with more than 10 years of teaching experience) pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) with respect to the promotion of students’ procedural learning and conceptual learning about electricity. Procedural learning involves knowing how to follow a sequence of actions towards an intended outcome while conceptual learning is associated with knowing about associations among ideas. In relation to promotion of conceptual learning, we will give more attention to teachers’ knowledge and use of the conceptual change approach in teaching because we believe that it is (or it should be) an important component of science teachers’ pedagogical repertoire, considering the current emphasis of the science education community on the promotion of conceptual understanding. The results of this study can be useful to teachers, as well as to designers of professional development programmes (PDPs). The PCK profiles that we would generate from the study can be used as a resource by other science teachers to obtain insights on how they could enhance the likelihood of conceptual learning and procedural learning of their students, at least in relation to electricity. The PCK profiles can provide a means for teachers to learn vicariously about PCK in teaching electricity. Some recurrent tasks or events can also be extracted from these PCK profiles that can serve as focal points of PDPs. Teachers, both experts and novices, can discuss how best to deal with these recurrent tasks or events. For teacher educators, if they know what PCK is needed for beginning and experienced teachers, they can develop more effective and flexible PDPs instead of providing a generic programme to teachers with differing needs.

Research Themes
Teacher Learning/PLCs/Lesson Studies

Funding Source

Related Links
ReEd Vol 16 (2014): Challenging Students’ Flawed Conceptions

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