The development of in-service science teachers' pedagogical content knowledge related to interdisciplinary science inquiry
Smith, Erica L.
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This study was situated in a NSF-funded multi-year teacher professional development project, STIS, between the university and a school district in the North Eastern United States. The STIS project affords an opportunity to understand the processes and conditions in which science teachers develop interdisciplinary science inquiry knowledge and how that is translated into their pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). As part of that study and within the framework of PCK in science, this study explored (1) the extent to which the involvement of in-service science teachers in authentic research experiences impacts their PCK of interdisciplinary science inquiry, and (2) the factors that contribute to or constrain the development of interdisciplinary science inquiry PCK. This research study utilized a mixed method, explanatory research design. Cross-case analysis of 10 teachers and the development of 3 case studies were done to examine the development of in-service science teachers PCK over the course of the first 3 years of the STIS project. Results showed that teachers participating in the STIS project demonstrated various levels of change in regards to their PCK, understanding of ISI, and implementation of ISI in classroom practices. The core features of STIS identified as impacting this change included (1) the summer research connection, (2) collaboration with STEM students, (3) an active learning environment, and (4) duration. The core features and the major contextual factors that were identified were utilized to revise the STIS' conceptual framework and create a theory of action. The findings of this study have implications for planning and conducting effective in-service for science educators.