A pre-service science teacher's pedagogical content knowledge: The story of Linda

Year: 2002

Author: Tsui, Chi-Yan, Treagust, David

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper explores teachers' pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) through the story of Linda, a preservice science teacher, who participated in this study while she taught genetics in a Year 10 classroom during her practice teaching. The study utilised a case-based research methodology with multiple sources of data that included interviews, observations, and information and communication technologies (ICT). Linda developed her PCK while teaching genetics and trying to use BioLogica, an interactive multimedia program. Although Linda did not have a strong content knowledge of genetics, she was able to expand it in response to students' learning demands. She also improved her pedagogical knowledge through reflection upon her teaching practice despite difficulties she encountered. Classroom observations showed that students had been highly motivated and actively engaged in their learning during Linda's teaching. Her expectations and reflections in the interviews corroborated with our view that she had undergone change in her conception of teaching genetics and substantially improved her PCK. The findings have implications for improving preservice science teacher education. It may be useful to highlight preservice teachers' PCK for teaching in their domain-specific areas and to introduce the functions of multiple representations in ICT learning environments for improving classroom use of technology.