Journal of Science Teacher Education

, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 523–545 | Cite as

Developing Science Pedagogical Content Knowledge Through Mentoring Elementary Teachers

  • Ken Appleton


Elementary teachers are typically hesitant to teach science. While a limited knowledge of science content is a reason for this, limited science pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) has emerged as another reason in recent research. This study constitutes two case studies of a professional development program for elementary teachers involving mentoring by a university professor. The mentor took the role of a critical friend in joint planning and teaching of science. The study examines the nature of the mentoring relationship and reports the type of teacher learning that occurred, with a particular focus on the teachers’ development of science PCK.


Elementary science Professional development Science PCK Mentoring 



This research was made possible by grants from Central Queensland University, the Rockhampton Diocesan Catholic Education Office, and the Depot Hill school cluster. I greatly appreciate the assistance and cooperation of the teachers with whom I have worked on the respective projects.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CaloundraAustralia
  2. 2.Faculty of Arts, Humanities, and EducationCentral Queensland UniversityRockhamptonAustralia

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