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Research in Science Education

, Volume 48, Issue 6, pp 1387–1408 | Cite as

Developing Elementary Science PCK for Teacher Education: Lessons Learned from a Second Grade Partnership

  • Leslie U. BradburyEmail author
  • Rachel E. Wilson
  • Laura E. Brookshire
Article

Abstract

In this self-study, two science educators partnered with two elementary teachers to plan, implement, and reflect on a unit taught in second grade classrooms that integrated science and language arts. The researchers hoped to increase their pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) for elementary science teaching so that they might use their experiences working in an elementary context to modify their practices in their elementary science method instruction. The research question guiding the study was: What aspects of our PCK for elementary science teaching do we as science educators develop by co-planning, co-teaching, and reflecting with second grade teachers? Data include transcripts of planning meetings, oral reflections about the experience, and videos of the unit being enacted. Findings indicate that managing resources for science teaching, organizing students for science learning, and reflecting on science teaching were themes prevalent in the data. These themes were linked to the model of PCK developed by Park and Oliver (Research in Science Education, 38, 261–284, 2008) and demonstrate that we developed PCK for elementary science teaching in several areas. In our discussion, we include several proposed changes for our elementary science methods course based on the outcomes of the study.

Keywords

Pedagogical content knowledge Elementary science education University faculty elementary teacher collaboration 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank the Reich College of Education at Appalachian State University which supplied classroom materials for this project through a Partnership Mini-Grant which encourages collaborations between public school teachers and university teacher educators. We also wish to thank our elementary partners in this project.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leslie U. Bradbury
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rachel E. Wilson
    • 1
  • Laura E. Brookshire
    • 1
  1. 1.Appalachian State University, ASUBooneUSA

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