Research in Science Education

, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 245–260 | Cite as

Is Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) Necessary for Reformed Science Teaching?: Evidence from an Empirical Study

  • Soonhye Park
  • Jeong-Yoon Jang
  • Ying-Chih Chen
  • Jinhong Jung
Article

Abstract

This study tested a hypothesis that focused on whether or not teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) is a necessary body of knowledge for reformed science teaching. This study utilized a quantitative research method to investigate the correlation between a teacher’s PCK level as measured by the PCK rubric (Park et al. 2008) and the degree to which his/her classroom is reform-oriented as measured by RTOP (Sawada et al. 2002). Data included 33 instructional sessions of photosynthesis and heredity videotaped with 7 high school biology teachers. Each session was given a score on both the PCK rubric and RTOP by two independent raters. Results indicate that PCK score is significantly related to RTOP score in terms of both total score (r = .831, p < .01) and sub-component scores (ranging from r = .616 to .805, p < .01). Implications for science teacher education and future research are discussed.

Keywords

Reform-based science education Pedagogical content knowledge Knowledge of student understanding Knowledge of instructional strategies and representations 

Notes

Acknowledgement

This research was funded by the Iowa Measurement Research Fund at the University of Iowa. However, the contents of this paper are purely those of the authors, and do not reflect the views of the funder.

References

  1. Abell, S. K. (2007). Research on science teacher knowledge. In S. K. Abell & N. G. Lederman (Eds.), Handbook of research on science education (pp. 1105–1149). Mahwah: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  2. American Association for the Advancement of Science. (1989). Project 2061: Science for all Americans. Washington, DC: American Association for the Advancement of Science.Google Scholar
  3. American Association for the Advancement of Science. (1993). Benchmarks for science literacy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Anderson, R. D., Anderson, B. L., Varank-Martin, M. A., Romagnano, L., Bielenberg, J., Flory, M., et al. (1994). Issues of curriculum reform in science, mathematics and higher order thinking across the disciplines. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  5. Barnett, J., & Hodson, D. (2001). Pedagogical context knowledge: toward a fuller understanding of what good science teachers know. Science & Education, 85, 426–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Borko, H., & Putnam, R. T. (1996). Learning to teach. In D. C. Berliner & R. C. Calfee (Eds.), Handbook of educational psychology (pp. 673–708). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  7. Bullough, R. V., Jr. (2001). Pedagogical content knowledge circa 1907 and 1987: a study in the history of an idea. Teaching and Teacher Education, 17, 655–666.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bybee, R. W. (1993). Reforming science education: Social perspectives and personal reflections. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  9. Carpenter, T., Fennema, E., Peterson, P., & Carey, D. (1988). Teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge of students’ problem-solving I elementary arithmetic. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 19, 385–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Carter, K. (1990). Teachers’ knowledge and learning to teach. In W. R. Houston & M. H. J. Sikula (Eds.), Handbook of research on teacher education (pp. 291–310). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  11. Clermont, C. P., Krajcik, J. S., & Borko, H. (1993). The influence of an intensive in service workshop on pedagogical content knowledge growth among novice chemical demonstrators. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 29, 471–485.Google Scholar
  12. Clermont, C. P., Borko, H., & Krajcik, J. S. (1994). Comparative study of the pedagogical content knowledge of experienced and novice chemical demonstrators. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 31, 419–441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cochran, K. F., Deruiter, J. A., & King, R. A. (1993). Pedagogical content knowing: an integrative model for teacher preparation. Journal of Teacher Education, 44(1), 263–272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cochran-Smith, M., & Fries, M. K. (2001). Sticks, stones, and ideology: the discourse of reform in teacher education of reform in teacher education. Educational Researcher, 30(8), 3–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Driver, R., Asako, H., Leach, J., Mortimer, E., & Scott, P. (1994). Constructing scientific knowledge in the classroom. Educational Researcher, 23, 5–12.Google Scholar
  16. Fenstermacher, G. D. (1994). The knower and the known: the nature of knowledge in research on teaching. Review of Research in Education, 20, 3–56.Google Scholar
  17. Geddis, A. N. (1993). Transforming subject-matter knowledge: the role of pedagogical knowledge in learning to reflect on teaching. International Journal of Science Education, 15(6), 673–683.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Grossman, P. L. (1990). The making of a teacher: Teacher knowledge and teacher education. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  19. Hashweh, M. Z. (1987). Effects of subject-matter knowledge in the teaching on biology and physics. Teaching & Teacher Education, 3(2), 109–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hashweh, M. Z. (2005). Teacher pedagogical constructions: a reconfiguration of pedagogical content knowledge. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and practice, 11(3), 273–292.Google Scholar
  21. Henze, I., Van Driel, J. H., & Verloop, N. (2008). The development of experienced science teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge of models of the solar system and the Universe. International Journal of Science Education, 30(10), 1321–1342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hollon, R. E., Roth, K. J., & Anderson, C. W. (1991). Science teachers' conceptions of teaching and learning. In J. Brophy (Ed.), Advances in research on teaching (Vol. 2, pp. 145–186). Greenwich: JAI.Google Scholar
  23. Holmes Group. (1986). Tomorrow’s teachers. East Lansing: Holmes Group.Google Scholar
  24. Lederman, N. G., Gess-Newsome, J., & Latz, M. S. (1994). The nature and development of preservice science teachers' conceptions of subject matter and pedagogy. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 31(2), 129–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lee, E., Brown, M. N., Luft, J. A., & Roehrig, G. H. (2007). Assessing beginning science teachers' PCK: pilot year results. School Science and Mathematics, 107(2), 418–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Loughran, J., Berry, A., & Mulhall, P. (2006). Understanding and developing science teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge. Rotterdam: Sense.Google Scholar
  27. Loughran, J., Mulhall, P., & Berry, A. (2008). Exploring pedagogical content knowledge in science teacher education. International Journal of Science Education, 30(10), 1301–1320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Luera, G. R., & Otto, C. A. (2005). Development and evaluation of an inquiry-based elementary science teacher education program reflecting current reform movements. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 16, 241–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Magnusson, S., Krajcik, L., & Borko, H. (1999). Nature, sources and development of pedagogical content knowledge. In J. Gess-Newsome & N. G. Lederman (Eds.), Examining pedagogical content knowledge (pp. 95–132). Dordrecht: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  30. Marks, R. (1990). Pedagogical content knowledge: from a mathematical case to a modified conception. Journal of teacher education, 41(3), 3–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. McEwan, H., & Bull, B. (1991). The pedagogic nature of subject matter knowledge. American Educational Research Journal, 28, 316–334.Google Scholar
  32. National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). (2004). Five core propositions. Retrieved February, 23, 2004 from http://www.nbpts.org/about/coreprops.cfm.
  33. National Commission on Excellence in Education. (1983). A nation at risk: The imperative for educational reform. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.Google Scholar
  34. National Research Council. (1996). National science education standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  35. National Science Teachers Association. (2003). Standards for science teacher preparation. Arlington: NSTA.Google Scholar
  36. Nelson, B. (1992). Teachers’ special knowledge. Educational Researcher, 21(9), 32–33.Google Scholar
  37. Park, S., & Oliver, J. S. (2008a). Revisiting the conceptualisation of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK): PCK as a conceptual tool to understand teachers as professionals. Research in Science Education, 38(3), 261–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Park, S., & Oliver, J. S. (2008b). National Board Certification (NBC) as a catalyst for teachers’ learning about teaching: the effects of the NBC process on candidate Teachers’ PCK development. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 45(7), 812–834.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Park, S., Chen, Y-C., & Jang, J. (2008). Developing measures of teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge for teaching high school biology. International conference of the Association for Science Teacher Education, St. Louis, MI. JanuaryGoogle Scholar
  40. Piburn, M. & Sawada, D. (2000). Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP):Reference Manual. (ACEPT Technical Report No. IN00-3). Retrieved February 15, 2009 from http://www.ecept.net/rtop/RTOP_Reference_Manual.pdf.
  41. Richardson, V. (Ed.). (1997). Constructivist teacher education: Building a world of understanding. London: Falmer.Google Scholar
  42. Rowan, B., Schilling, S. G., Ball, D. L., & Miller, R. (2001). Measuring teachers' pedagogical content knowledge in surveys: An exploratory study. Consortium for Policy Research in Education.Google Scholar
  43. Sanders, L. R., Borko, H., & Lockard, J. D. (1993). Secondary science teachers' knowledge base when teaching science courses in and out of their area of certification. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 30, 723–736.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Sawada, D., Piburn, M., Turley, J., Falconer, K., Benford, R., Bloom, I., et al. (2000). Reformed teaching observation protocol (RTOP). Tempe: Arizona State University.Google Scholar
  45. Sawada, D., Piburn, M. D., Judson, E., Turley, J., Falconer, K., Benford, R., et al. (2002). Measuring reform practices in science and mathematics classrooms: the reformed teaching observation protocol. School Science and Mathematics, 102(6), 245–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Shulman, L. (1986). Those who understand: knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher, 15(1), 4–14.Google Scholar
  47. Shulman, L. (1987). Knowledge and teaching: foundations of the new reform. Harvard Educational Review, 57(1), 1–22.Google Scholar
  48. Smith, D. C., & Neal, D. C. (1989). The construction of subject matter knowledge in primary science teaching. Teaching and Teacher Education, 5, 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sockett, H. (1987). Has Shulman got the strategy right? Harvard Educational Review, 57, 208–219.Google Scholar
  50. Stone, E. (1992). Quality teaching: a sample of cases. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Taylor, J. & Gess-Newsome, J. (2007). Exploring Tools and Methods for Measuring Pedagogical Content Knowledge. Paper presented at the meeting of the Association for Science Teacher Education, Clearwater, FL.Google Scholar
  52. Van Driel, J. H., Verloop, N., & De Vos, W. (1998). Developing science teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 35(6), 673–695.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Von Glasersfeld, E. (1984). An introduction to radical constructivism. In P. Watzlawick (Ed.), The invented reality (pp. 17–40). New York: Norton.Google Scholar
  54. Von Glasersfeld, E. (1993). Questions and answers about radical constructivism. In K. Tobin (Ed.), The practice of constructivism in science education (pp. 23–38). Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Soonhye Park
    • 1
  • Jeong-Yoon Jang
    • 1
  • Ying-Chih Chen
    • 1
  • Jinhong Jung
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Teaching & LearningUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Kinesiology & Physical EducationNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA

Personalised recommendations