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Title: Science teachers' perceptions of expertise in practice : an exploratory study
Author: Bevins, Stuart Carl
ISNI:       0000 0001 3462 9155
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2002
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This thesis reports on an exploration of the nature and characteristics of science teaching expertise as exhibited by six identified expert science teachers. An action research methodology was adopted with data gathered through: semi-structured interviews; classroom observations, and reflective discussions. A culture of collaboration between the researcher and teachers was encouraged by the researcher in an attempt to create a 'bottom-up' approach to the study. The teachers acted as research collaborators by continuously reflecting on, and analysing their knowledge and practice within the context of the study. The reported study emphasises a need for identifying characteristics of science teacher expertise from the insights of teachers themselves. The study considers the reflections and perceptions of the science teachers involved to be an important part of their continuing professional development, which leads to a greater self-awareness and understanding of their teaching expertise. Findings show that these six science teachers demonstrate: subject master; deep pedagogical understanding; considerable pedagogical content knowledge, and a desire to continue learning for an entire professional life, in an attempt to keep abreast of changes and developments in science and education. Within these characteristics, the teachers exhibit, for example, organisational skills, empathy, flexibility, intuition, enthusiasm and professionalism. Most of all, they demonstrate an ability to operate and communicate at the level of their pupils. They study contributes to the debate about effective teaching and better ways for teachers to learn from their experienced by offering a detailed account of science teacher expertise from the perceptions of six expert teachers. The study also highlights a wide ranging existing literature base in a attempt to offer a way of thinking about teaching expertise. Findings from the study indicate strong similarities with those of the existing literature.
Supervisor: West, Dick ; Harrison, Bill Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available