Skip to main content

Development and Nature of Preservice Chemistry Teachers’ Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Nature of Science

Abstract

The purpose of this case study is to delve into the complexities of the early development of preservice chemistry teachers’ science teaching orientations, knowledge of learners, knowledge of instructional strategies, and knowledge of assessment during a two-semester intervention designed to enhance their pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) for teaching nature of science (NOS). Thirty preservice chemistry teachers enrolled in a Research in Science Education course participated in the study. Qualitative data sources included responses to an open-ended instrument, interviews, observations, and artifacts such as lesson plans and reflection papers. Through the in-depth analysis of explicit PCK and constant comparative method of analysis, we identified the influence of the intervention on participants’ PCK for NOS. Analysis of data revealed four major themes related to the nature of preservice chemistry teachers’ NOS teaching practices and their PCK for NOS: (1) prerequisite knowledge and beliefs are necessary to teach NOS, (2) there is a developmental progression of PCK for NOS from knowledge to application level, (3) teachers need some comfort in their NOS understanding to teach NOS, and (4) the higher integration of PCK components leads to successful NOS teaching practices. Implications for science teacher education and research are discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

Notes

  1. All names of the participants are pseudonyms.

References

  • Abd-El-Khalick, F. (2013). Teaching with and about nature of science, and science teacher knowledge domains. Science & Education, 22(9), 2087–2107.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Abd-El-Khalick, F., & Boujaoude, S. (1997). An exploratory study of knowledge base for science teaching. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 34(7), 673–699.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Abd-El-Khalick, F., & Lederman, N. G. (2000). Improving science teachers’ conceptions of nature of science: a critical review of the literature. International Journal of Science Education, 22(7), 665–701.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Abd-El-Khalick, F., Bell, R. L., & Lederman, N. G. (1998). The nature of science and instructional practice: making the unnatural natural. Science Education, 82(4), 417–436.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Abd-El-Khalick, F., Waters, M., & Le, A. (2008). Representations of nature of science in high school chemistry textbooks over the past four decades. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 45(7), 835–855.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Abell, S. K. (2007). Research on science teacher knowledge. In S. K. Abell & N. G. Lederman (Eds.), Research on science teacher education (pp. 1105–1149). New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Abell, S. K. (2008). Twenty years later: does pedagogical content knowledge remain a useful idea? International Journal of Science Education, 30(10), 1405–1416.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Akerson, V. L., & Abd-El-Khalick, F. (2003). Teaching elements of nature of science: a yearlong case study of a fourth-grade teacher. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 40(10), 1025–1049.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Akerson, V. L., & Volrich, M. L. (2006). Teaching nature of science explicitly in a first-grade internship setting. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 43(4), 377–394.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Akerson, V. L., Abd-El-Khalick, F., & Lederman, N. G. (2000). Influence of a reflective explicit activity-based approach on elementary teachers’ conceptions of nature of science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37(4), 295–317.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Alters, B. J. (1997). Whose nature of science? Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 34(1), 39–55.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science. (1993). Benchmarks for science literacy: a project 2061 report. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Aydin, S., & Boz, Y. (2013). The nature of integration among PCK components: a case study of two experienced chemistry teachers. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 14(4), 615–624.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Baxter, J. A., & Lederman, N. G. (1999). Assessment and measurement of pedagogical content knowledge. In J. Gess-Newsome & N. G. Lederman (Eds.), Examining pedagogical content knowledge: the construct and its implications for science education (pp. 147–161). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bell, R. L., Lederman, N. G., & Abd-El-Khalick, F. (2000). Developing and acting upon one’s conception of the nature of science: a follow-up study. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37(6), 563–581.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Brown P., Friedrichsen P., & Abell S. K., (2009, September). Do beliefs change? Investigating prospective teachers’ science teaching orientations during an accelerated post-baccalaureate program. Paper presented at the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA) Conference, Istanbul, Turkey

  • Cavallo, A. (2008). Experiencing the nature of science: an interactive, beginning-of-semester activity. Journal of College Science Teaching, 37(5), 12–15.

    Google Scholar 

  • Clough, M. P. (2006). Learners’ responses to the demands of conceptual change: considerations for effective nature of science instruction. Science & Education, 15(5), 463–494.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Cochran, K. F., King, R. A., & De Ruiter, J. A. (1991, April). Pedagogical content knowledge: a tentative model for teacher preparation. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago

  • Cochran, K. F., DeRuiter, J., & King, R. (1993). Pedagogical content knowing: an integrative model for teacher preparation. Journal of Teacher Education, 44(4), 263–272.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • National Research Council. (1996). National science education standards. Washington: National Academy Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Creswell, J. W. (2003). Qualitative inquiry and research design: choosing among five approaches (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  • Davis, E. A. (2003). Knowledge integration in science teaching: analysing teachers’ knowledge development. Research in Science Education, 34(1), 21–53.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Davis, E. A., & Krajcik, J. S. (2005). Designing educative curriculum materials to promote teacher learning. Educational Researcher, 34(3), 3–14.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Davis, E. A., Kenyon, L., Hug, B., Nelson, M., Beyer, C., Schwarz, C., & Reiser, B. J. (2008, January). MoDeLS: designing supports for teachers using scientific modeling. Paper presented at the Association for Science Teacher Education, St. Louis

  • De Jong, O., & Van Driel, J. (2001). The development of prospective teachers’ concerns about teaching chemistry topics at a macro–micro-symbolic interface. In H. Behrednt, H. Dahncke, R. Duit, W. Graber, M. Komorek, A. Kross, & P. Reiska (Eds.), Research in science education: past, present and future (pp. 271–276). Dordrecht: Kluwer.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • De Jong, O. D., Van Driel, J. H., & Verloop, N. (2005). Preservice teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge of using particle models in teaching chemistry. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 42(8), 947–964.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dillon, J. (2009). On scientific literacy and curriculum reform. International Journal of Environmental & Science Education, 4(3), 201–213.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dogan, N., & Abd-El-Khalick, F. (2008). Turkish grade 10 students’ and science teachers’ conceptions of nature of science: a national study. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 45(10), 1083–1112.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Driver, R., Leach, J., Millar, R., & Scott, P. (1996). Young people's images of science. McGraw-Hill International.

  • Faikhamta, C. (2013). The development of in-service science teachers’ understandings of and orientations to teaching the nature of science within a PCK-based NOS course. Research in Science Education, 43(2), 847–869.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Flick, L. B. (1996). Understanding a generative learning model of instruction: a case study of elementary teacher planning. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 7(2), 95–122.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Fraenkel, J. R., & Wallen, N. E. (2006). How to design & evaluate research in education (6th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.

    Google Scholar 

  • Friedrichsen, P. J., Abell, S. K., Pareja, E. M., Brown, P. L., Lankford, D. M., & Volkmann, M. J. (2009). Does teaching experience matter? Examining biology teachers’ prior knowledge for teaching in an alternative certification program. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46(4), 357–383.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: strategies for qualitative research. Chicago: Aldine.

    Google Scholar 

  • Grossman, P. L. (1990). The making of a teacher: teacher knowledge & teacher education. New York: Teachers College Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hanuscin, D. L. (2013). Critical incidents in the development of pedagogical content knowledge for teaching the nature of science: a prospective elementary teacher’s journey. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 24(6), 933–956.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hanuscin, D., Lee, M. H., & Akerson, V. (2011). Elementary teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge for teaching the nature of science. Science Education, 91(1), 145–167.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Henze, I., van Driel, J. H., & Verloop, N. (2008). 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.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hume, A., & Berry, A. (2010). Constructing CoRes—a strategy for building PCK in pre-service science teacher education. Research in Science Education, 41(3), 341–355.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Irzık, G., & Nola, R. (2010). A family resemblance approach to the nature of science for science education. Science & Education, 20(7–8), 591–607.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jenny, K. (2011). Interactive relationships among teachers’ intentions, beliefs, pedagogical content knowledge and classroom instruction on the nature of science. Unpublished doctoral thesis, University of Hong Kong.

  • Khishfe, R., & Abd-El-Khalick, F. (2002). Influence of explicit and reflective versus implicit inquiry-oriented instruction on sixth graders’ views of nature of science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 39(7), 551–578.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kim, B. S., Ko, E. K., Lederman, N.G., & Lederman, J. S. (2005, April). A developmental continuum of pedagogical content knowledge for nature of science instruction. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Dallas, Texas

  • Köseoğlu, F., Tümay, H., & Ustün, U. (2010). Developing a professional development package for nature of science instruction and discussion about its implementation for pre-service teachers. Journal of Kırşehir Education Faculty, 11(4), 129–162.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lawson, A. (2002). Sound and faulty arguments generated by pre-service biology teachers when testing hypotheses involving unobservable entities. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 39(3), 237–252.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lederman, N. G. (1998). The state of science education: subject matter without context. Electronic Journal of Science Education, 3(2). Retrieved October 03, 2010 from http://ejse.southwestern.edu/original%20site/manuscripts/v3n2/articles/guest%20editorial/lederman.html.

  • Lederman, N. G. (2007). Nature of science: past, present, and future. In S. K. Abell & N. G. Lederman (Eds.), Handbook of research on science education (pp. 831–879). Mahwah: Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lederman, N. G., & Abd-El-Khalick, F. (1998). Avoiding de-natured science: activities that promote understandings of the nature of science. In W. McComas (Ed.), The nature of science in science education: rationales and strategies (pp. 83–126). New York: Kluwer Academic.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lederman, N. G., Schwartz, R. S., Abd-El-Khalick, F., & Bell, R. L. (2001). Preservice teachers’ understanding and teaching of nature of science: an intervention study. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education, 1(2), 135–160.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lederman, N. G., Abd-El-Khalick, F., Bell, R. L., & Schwartz, R. S. (2002). Views of the nature of science questionnaire: toward valid and meaningful assessment of learners’ conceptions of the nature of science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 39(6), 497–521.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lin, H., & Chen, C. (2002). Promoting pre-service chemistry teachers’ understanding about the nature of science through history. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 39(9), 773–792.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Loughran, J., Mulhall, P., & Berry, A. (2004). In search of pedagogical content knowledge in science: developing ways of articulating and documenting professional practice. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41(4), 370–391.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Loughran, J., Mulhall, P., & Berry, A. (2008). Exploring pedagogical content knowledge in science teacher education. International Journal of Science Education, 30(10), 1301–1320.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lumpe, A. T. (2007). Research-based professional development: teachers engaged in professional learning communities. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 18(1), 125–128.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Magnusson, S., Krajcik, J., & Borko, H. (1999). Nature, sources, and development of pedagogical content knowledge for science teaching. In J. Gess-Newsome & N. Lederman (Eds.), Examining pedagogical content knowledge: the construct and its implications for science education (pp. 95–132). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.

    Google Scholar 

  • Marshall, G. B., & Rossman, C. (2011). Designing qualitative research (5th ed.). London: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  • Matthews, M. R. (1998). In defense of modest goals when teaching about the nature of science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 35(2), 161–174.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • McComas, W. F., & Olson, J. K. (1998). International science education standards documents. In W. F. McComas (Ed.), The nature of science in science education rationales and strategies (pp. 41–52). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.

    Google Scholar 

  • McComas, W. F., Clough, M. P., & Almazroa, H. (1998). The role and character of the nature of science in science education. In W. F. McComas (Ed.), The nature of science in science education: rationales and strategies (pp. 3–39). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.

    Google Scholar 

  • McDonald, C. V. (2010). The influence of explicit nature of science and argumentation instruction on preservice primary teachers’ views of nature of science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 47(9), 1137–1164.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Miller, M. L. (2001). Enriching pedagogical content knowledge of prospective chemistry teachers: how can the science methods course help? Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Purdue University, Indiana, USA.

  • National Academy of Sciences. (1998). Teaching about evolution and nature of science. Washington: National Academy Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • National Research Council. (2011). A framework for K-12 science education: practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas. Washington: National Academies Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nilsson, P., & Loughran, J. (2012). Exploring the development of pre-service science elementary teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 23(7), 699–721.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Osborne, J., Collins, S., Ratcliffe, M., Millar, R., & Duschl, R. (2003). What ideas-about-science should be taught in school science? A Delphi study of the expert community. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 40(7), 692–720.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ozgelen, S., Hanuscin, D., & Yilmaz-Tuzun, O. (2013). Preservice elementary science teachers’ connections among aspects of NOS: toward a consistent, overarching framework. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 24(5), 907–927.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Park, S., & Chen, Y. C. (2012). Mapping out the integration of the components of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK): examples from high school biology classrooms. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 49(7), 922–941.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Park, S., & Oliver, J. S. (2008). Revisiting the conceptualization of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK): PCK as a conceptual tool to understand teachers as professionals. Research in Science Education, 38(3), 261–284.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative evaluation and research methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pongsanon, K., Akerson, V. L., Park Rogers, M., & Weiland, I. (2011, April). Exploring the use of lesson study to develop elementary preservice teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge for teaching nature of science. Paper presented at the National Association for Research in Science Teaching Orlando, Florida

  • Schwartz, R. S., & Lederman, N. G. (2002). It’s the nature of the beast: the influence of knowledge and intentions on learning and teaching nature of science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 39(3), 205–236.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shulman, L. S. (1986). Those who understand: knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher, 15(2), 4–14.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Shulman, L. S. (1987). Knowledge and teaching: foundations of the new reform. Harvard Educational Review, 57(1), 1–22.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Smith, M. U., & Scharmann, L. C. (1999). Defining versus describing the nature of science: a pragmatic analysis for classroom teachers and science educators. Science Education, 83(4), 493–509.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Smith, M. U., Lederman, N. G., Bell, R. L., McComas, W. F., & Clough, M. P. (1997). How great is the disagreement about the nature of science: a response to Alters. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 34(10), 1101–1103.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Smithey, J. (2003). Two perspectives on expertise in elementary science teaching. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Tabachnick, B. R., & Zeichner, K. M. (1999). Idea and action: action research and the development of conceptual change teaching of science. Science Education, 83(3), 309–322.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Taber, K. (2008). Towards a curricular model of the nature of science. Science & Education, 17(2–3), 179–218.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tamir, P. (1988). Subject matter and related pedagogical knowledge in teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 4, 99–110.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • 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.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the TUBITAK 1001 and 2014 support programs provided by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Betül Demirdöğen.

Additional information

Notes

This material is based upon work supported by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey 1001-Scientific and Technological Research Project Support Program under Grant 108K086 entitled “Teaching the Nature of Science: Production of a professional development package for teaching scientific argumentation and reasoning based on philosophy and history of science.”

Appendix 1

Appendix 1

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Demirdöğen, B., Hanuscin, D.L., Uzuntiryaki-Kondakci, E. et al. Development and Nature of Preservice Chemistry Teachers’ Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Nature of Science. Res Sci Educ 46, 575–612 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11165-015-9472-z

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11165-015-9472-z

Keywords

  • Pedagogical content knowledge
  • Nature of science
  • Preservice teachers
  • Case study
  • In-depth analysis of explicit PCK
  • Constant comparative method