ERIC Number: EJ825345
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Experienced Junior-High-School Teachers' PCK in Light of a Curriculum Change: "The Cell Is to Be Studied Longitudinally"
Cohen, Rachel; Yarden, Anat
Research in Science Education, v39 n1 p131-155 Jan 2009
In the new science and technology junior-high-school curriculum in Israel, it is recommended that the cell topic be taught "longitudinally in conjunction with other study contents". This recommendation confers a change in teaching the cell topic and provides an opportunity to form meaningful relationships between biological phenomena at the macro-level and their cellular explanations. Here, we examine junior-high-school science and technology teachers' pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) with regard to the cell topic and the formation of macro-micro relations, ten years following the publication of the change in the curriculum. Teachers in this study participated in three focus groups (n = 59) and one workshop (n = 12). In addition, six experienced teachers were interviewed in the course of this study. Specific tools were developed to capture the teachers' PCK. We found that the teachers had changed their way of teaching the cell topic only superficially: they did not undergo any deep change. Despite the importance the teachers placed on teaching and learning the cell topic, their concerns about their students' comprehension difficulties reduced the time they devoted to teaching the topic in class. The teachers were also found to have no PCK capacity to integrate biological phenomena at the macro-level with their cellular explanations. In addition, a duality was identified among the teachers with regards to relating macro- and micro-levels in biology and in chemistry.
Descriptors: Curriculum Development, Focus Groups, Biology, Foreign Countries, Teacher Effectiveness, Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Experienced Teachers, Junior High Schools, Science Instruction, Secondary School Science, Teaching Methods, Workshops, Interviews
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Israel