Module-Phase-Dependent Development of Pedagogical Content Knowledge: Replicating a Role-Change Approach in Pre-Service Teacher Education in an Outreach Lab

  • Franz-Josef ScharfenbergEmail author
  • Franz X. Bogner


How pre-service teachers (PST) develop components of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) is an open question. Theoretically based on PCK and combined with student education in our outreach lab, we implemented a role-change approach in PST education. After theoretical and practical preparation, the PSTs change from the student role, to the tutor role, to the teacher role, on three subsequent days. As PCK components, our approach shifted the PSTs’ orientations toward teaching biology to a more student-centeredness. It also changed their views on student learning difficulties (SLD) and instructional strategies for avoiding those (Scharfenberg and Bogner 2016). Seventy-two PSTs and 1413 students (82 classes) participated in our replication study. As direct replication, we monitored PCK components in pre- and delayed posttests. As conceptual replication, we examined the PSTs’ views on SLDs after practical preparation and after each role experienced, and observed their instructional changes (IC) as teachers. We content-analytically categorized and quantitatively analyzed the SLD statements and the ICs. Cluster-analytically, we compared the PSTs’ SLD view pattern. We directly replicated all the 2016 study results. Conceptually replicating, the PSTs module-phase dependently changed their SLD views (averagely medium effects) and presented ICs. Overall-oriented PSTs (seeing both hands- and minds-on-related SLDs), hands-on-oriented and minds-on-oriented PSTs (one dominating SLD view, each) arose after experiencing the tutor role. The overall-oriented PSTs only shifted their orientation to more student-centeredness. Our replication confirms the step-wise development of PSTs’ PCK. We discuss the relevance of the different module-phase-dependent experiences for science teacher education and future research.


Science teacher education Pre-service teacher education Pedagogical content knowledge Outreach education Role-change 



We are thankful to the teachers, the pre-service teachers and the students involved in this study for their cooperation. We appreciate the helpful and valuable discussion of earlier stages of the manuscript with M. Wiseman. This work was supported by the Oberfranken Foundation (02094/010807) and the Bavarian Ministry of the Environment and Consumer Protection (74a-U8793-2001/10-36).

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre of Math & Science Education, Department of Biology EducationUniversity of BayreuthBayreuthGermany

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