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Title: How do secondary science student teachers approach knowledge? : an investigation into cognition and affect
Author: Hedderly, Anna.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3551 9652
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2006
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Graduates enrolled in English secondary science PGCE courses would appear to face high demands in terms of their requirements for teaching - and subsequent learning. This interpretive, constructivist study was centred within the context of a PGCE method programme conducted in an English university and was concerned with the exploration of the student teachers' learning role with a special focus on chemistry. It explored their approach to knowledge that was subsequently divided into the domains of subject pedagogical knowledge (SPK) and subject matter knowledge, SMK, which encompassed personal understandings (personal SMK) and the material taught to pupils (pupil-centred SMK). An overall qualitative, triangulated approach was adopted and the methods utilized were questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, participant observation and document analysis. The participants included two successive cohorts of student teachers (N=56), tutors who conducted the method sessions and other parties whose views were relevant to the context. The interpretation was made that the majority of student teachers attributed high and low values to practical, classroom-centred SPK and personal SMK respectively, which were considered via an orientation termed passive-transmission, whereas the tutors assigned equal value to the development of SPK and personal SMK, favouring an orientation termed metacognitive-reconstruction. These fundamental dichotomies resulted in tensions and significant misinterpretations. It was discovered that interacting cognitive and affective factors impacted upon the student teachers' approach in an unpredictable manner, which originated from both themselves and the university and school experience course strands. Furthermore, problematic aspects of the nature of their chemistry ideas were revealed which, it is argued, represented a consequence of their approach. A model of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) was constructed, conceptualizing opposing forms and contrasting means of producing pupil-centred SMK. Its implications for teaching, the function and nature of the strands of the PGCE course and the PCK construct are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available