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Exploring how engaging with reflection on learning generates pedagogical insight in science teacher education

Parker, Joan and Heywood, David (2013) Exploring how engaging with reflection on learning generates pedagogical insight in science teacher education. Science education, 97 (3). 410-441.. ISSN 0036-8326

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Abstract

Opportunities for the development of science-related pedagogy during training are necessarily limited for the generalist primary (elementary), preservice teacher. While school placement is an important context within which to develop such professional expertise, the role of institution-based learning is less well understood in this regard. This paper explores the generation of science-related pedagogy as preservice primary teachers learn about the traditionally challenging subject of forces as part of their institution-based science education course. Findings illustrate how critical interpretation of the school curriculum is informed as a consequence of preservice teachers developing metacognitive awareness of their own learning of science. A subject matter learning audit provides a framework to enable the teachers to analyze their learning and apply their perspectives to the primary curriculum through focusing attention on the abstract and counterintuitive nature of forces. Pedagogic insight emerges as the student-teachers craft successive reflective accounts of their own understanding of forces and interpret the curriculum relating to forces. In doing so, they begin to translate their learning as pedagogical apparatus for their future work with pupils. The paper concludes with discussion of some implications for the role of institution-based learning in the development of pedagogical subject knowledge in science.

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