P25: Uncovering the topic-specific pedagogical content knowledge of high school chemistry teachers

Author: R. Thomas Smith, Miami University, USA

Co-Author: Ellen Yezierski, Miami University, USA

Date: 8/3/14

Time: 3:05 PM3:25 PM

Room: HON 148

Related Symposium: S4

Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) is a complex and multi-faceted concept. Broadly defined, PCK is a part of teaching knowledge that allows for the metamorphosis of subject matter knowledge, among other knowledge bases, so diverse learners can achieve conceptual understanding in the classroom. Due to its complexity, PCK is difficult to observe and document. The goal of this research was to optimize the data collection process and then characterize high school chemistry teachers’ topic-specific PCK. This study proposes a model of PCK synthesized from the literature as well as a four-stage method aimed at improving PCK data collection and data quality. A pilot study with three high school chemistry teachers around the topic of acid-base chemistry was conducted to test and evaluate the efficacy of the PCK model and data collection method to inform the main study. This presentation includes the PCK model, refined data collection and qualitative analysis methods, and results from the main study focused on chemical bonding in three high school chemistry classrooms. Implications for research and instruction will also be presented.