Developing science teachers' pedagogical content knowledge

Authors

  • Jan H. van Driel,

    Corresponding author
    1. ICLON Graduate School of Education, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9555, NL-2300 RB Leiden, The Netherlands
    • ICLON Graduate School of Education, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9555, NL-2300 RB Leiden, The Netherlands
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  • Nico Verloop,

    1. ICLON Graduate School of Education, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9555, NL-2300 RB Leiden, The Netherlands
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  • Wobbe de Vos

    1. Centre for Science and Mathematics Education, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Abstract

This article discusses the concept of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) within the context of science teaching. First, an attempt is made to define this concept within the tradition of research on teachers' craft knowledge and to identify possible purposes of research on PCK. From this point of view, recent research on science teaching is investigated. This investigation identifies teaching experience as the major source of PCK, whereas adequate subject-matter knowledge appears to be a prerequisite. Finally, an empirical study is presented which focuses on PCK with respect to a specific topic—that is, chemical equilibrium. The effects on teachers' PCK of participation in an in-service workshop and conducting an experimental course in classroom practice are reported. This leads to the identification of elements of PCK teachers can use to promote student understanding. It is concluded that research on topic-related PCK may complement research on student learning of specific topics. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 35: 673–695, 1998.

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