Examining the development of topic specific PCK in stoichiometry of three practicing teachers through a lesson study

Mudzatsi, Tarisai
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Professional learning communities are generally regarded as having a positive impact in improving and developing teacher knowledge. Literature has shown that group planning and professional learning communities have an impact on the quality of teaching and subsequent improvement in learner performance. Practicing teachers, preservice teachers, education authorities, curriculum advisors and teacher educators all thrive to find out about the kind of teaching that brings about effective learning inside classrooms, the most appropriate approach to improve teaching and learning in class, and in particular, science classes, remains vague, though. This study examines how teacher knowledge is developed in the context of a lesson study within a specific concept of the topic stoichiometry: the ‘mole’. The case of three practicing science teachers is considered through the observation of their interactions with teacher educators during the five (5) weeks in which the participant teachers planned, taught and reflected on the mole concept together with science teacher educators and science teacher education specialists. A pretest is administered to the participant teachers at the beginning of the study; this is followed by intervention discussions based on the concept of the mole. Each of the participants then teaches the lesson to 11th grade learners in their school, each lesson is reflected upon and an iterative cycle of teaching and re-teaching the concept describes the lesson study approach used in this study. At the end of the intervention, a post-test is administered to the three participant teachers. The analysis and description of the teachers’ responses to structured test items before and after the topic specific intervention and verbal contributions during meetings are sources of qualitative data in this study. The qualitative data about topic specific pedagogy and the interaction of TSPCK components obtained in this study is used as evidence to show that topic-specific interventions assist teachers in developing pedagogical content knowledge in science education.
A research report in partial fulfillment of the award of Master of Science (MSc.) in Science Education submitted to the Faculty of Science, School of Education, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2017
Mudzatsi, Tarisai (2017) Examining the development of topic specific PCK in stoichiometry of three practicing teachers through a lesson study, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, https://hdl.handle.net/10539/26452