Developing teachers' professional and pedagogical content knowledge

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Developing teachers' professional and pedagogical content knowledge

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Publication Conference other
Title Developing teachers' professional and pedagogical content knowledge
Author Olander, Clas
Date 2016
English abstract
When pondering the question of future research needs in biology didactics I think that one of my previous research threads and one current are extra important, both concern secondary classrooms. The previous research methodology includes collaboration with practicing teachers with the aim of investigating and developing teachers’ professional knowledge in terms of PCK, pedagogical content knowledge - but in action. This means that it is the classroom practice that is foregrounded and “enacted PCK” not beliefs or theoretical knowledge about how to teach. Inspired by design-based research and Japanese lesson studies I have lead groups of biology teachers when they plan, enact and asses teaching about specific objects of learning. For example, “gene to expression”, “what constitutes a scientific theory” or “circulation of food and oxygen in the human body”. The point of departure is that improvement is more sustainable if enacted in teachers own authentic practice, in collaboration with their colleagues and the researchers have to be prepared to share their competence in areas that matter for the teachers. Currently I am engaged in SALT (Science and Literacy Teaching) which is a “content and language integrated learning project”, funded by the Swedish research council where we investigate the development of students’ scientific knowledge when introducing selected literacy aspects. We work in collaboration with teachers in multicultural classrooms and develop literacy strategies such as reading and writing in science. However, literacy in science classroom includes models, graphs, formulas and other representations that are mathematical, visual and verbal. Representations that often are displayed and produced with digital media and especially we focus important semantic patterns in biology, for example casual explanations, levels of organization, modeling etc. Future research need to keep on investigating the multimodal ways that biology is communicated with. Biology classrooms has always made use of drawings, animations and physical models but now we need more attention towards digital animations and models and how they give new affordances and hinders. Examples of affordances might be more convenient and easier-made teaching materials, while examples of new challenges are that pseudo-science is faster spread and the correspondence between important semantic patterns in biology and the digital representation might be blurred; the need of a scaffolding teacher is still important. Another pressing, but more regional issue concerns the large cohorts of new arrivals of refuges, for example in Sweden and Germany (and of course Greece but with somewhat more severe societal implications) and their future education. My hypothesis is that more focus on integrating content and language would be beneficial for newcomers who in many cases have conceptual knowledge, but expressed in other languages that Swedish. However, this has to be regarded as question which needs empirical research. Both examples of “future needs of research” will in my opinion are best conducted in collaboration with teachers in their authentic classroom practice – research with teachers and not on teachers.
Conference
Eleventh Conference of European Researchers in Didactics of Biology (5-9 september, 2016 : Karlstad, Sweden)
Language eng (iso)
Subject Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/21841 Permalink to this page
Link https://www5.kau.se/eridob-2016... (external link to related web page)
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