Pre-service science teachers’ and in-service physics teachers’ views on the knowledge and skills of a good teacher
Science teacher knowledge and skills have been thoroughly discussed by researchers; however, less is known about how teachers themselves conceptualise their professional qualities. We asked first and final-year pre-service science teachers and in-service physics teachers to describe the knowledge and skills needed to be a good science/physics teacher. Data was collected through a one-item questionnaire, followed by interviews. Using thematic coding with inductively defined codes as well as codes derived from theoretical perspectives on teacher knowledge and skills (notably the Refined Consensus Model of PCK), we found that all respondent groups emphasised science content knowledge as important. In-service teachers also often described external factors such as working conditions. First-year pre-service teachers put more emphasis on pedagogical skills and personality traits, whereas final-year pre-service teachers expressed a more integrated view of science teacher knowledge and skills. Further, we discuss the need for teacher education to focus on integrating science content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge through articulating aspects of PCK, and on giving pre- and in-service teachers arenas for professional development and for research-based discussions of teaching and learning.
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