The accommodation of science pedagogical knowledge: The application of conceptual change constructs to teacher education

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Abstract

The purposes of this study were to (a) determine whether the conditions of the accommodation of a science conception (IPDF) could be applied to pedagogical conceptions of science, and (b) using this application, determine whether a group of elementary teacher candidates in a conceptual change methods course accommodated their didactic preconceptions of science teaching. This research was based on the assumption that, for teachers to learn to teach for conceptual change, they must undergo a process of pedagogical conceptual change themselves. The teacher candidates in this study were interviewed and observed teaching. Their lesson plans and reflective papers were analyzed. The course was also videotaped to provide contextual descriptions. The teacher candidates, as expected, held primarily didactic pedagogical conceptions and were resistant to the conceptual change strategies. However, at posttest they found the new strategies to be intelligible, plausible, and fruitful. They also expressed implicit dissatisfaction with their preexisting views. Cooperating teachers had significant influence in the development of both plausibility and fruitfulness. Recommendations for improving the use of the conceptual change constructs in future teacher education research are made.

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