Research in Science Education

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 955–979 | Cite as

A Self-Study of a Thai Teacher Educator Developing a Better Understanding of PCK for Teaching about Teaching Science

  • Chatree Faikhamta
  • Anthony Clarke


In this study, I, the first author as a Thai teacher educator employed self-study as a research methodology to investigate my own understandings, questions, and curiosities about pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) for teaching science student teachers and the ways I engaged student teachers in a field-based science methods course designed to help them to develop their PCK. Qualitative data gathered included: the syllabi, handouts, work submitted by student teachers, student teachers’ journal entries, my journal entries, and video recordings of my classroom teaching. Data were analysed using an inductive process to identify ways in which I attempted to enhance student teachers’ PCK. The contributions of this study are insights generated to help teacher educators think about how to support and develop student teachers’ PCK. Some of these contributions are enhancing teacher educators’ PCK for teaching science teachers, developing PCK for teaching science, and designing a science methods course in science teacher preparation programmes.


Self-study Pedagogical content knowledge Science methods course Science teacher education programme Thailand 



We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Faculty of Education, Kasetsart University, Thailand.


  1. Abell, S. K. (2008). Twenty years later: does pedagogical content knowledge remain a useful idea? International Journal of Science Education, 30(10), 1405–1416.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abell, S. K., & Bryan, L. S. (1997). Reconceptualizing the elementary science methods course using a reflection orientation. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 8(3), 153–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Abell, S. K., Appleton, K., & Hanuscin, D. L. (2009). Designing and teaching the elementary science methods course. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Alderton, J. (2008). Exploring self-study to improve my practice as a mathematics teacher educator. Studying Teacher Education, 4(2), 95–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Appleton, K. (2003). How do beginning primary school teachers cope with science? Toward an understanding of science teaching practice. Research in Science Education, 33, 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Baird, J., & White, R. (1996). Metacognitive strategies in the classroom. In D. Treagust, R. Duit, & B. Fraser (Eds.), Improving teaching and learning in science and mathematics. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  7. Bausmith, J. M., & Barry, C. (2011). Revisiting professional learning communities to increase college readiness: the importance of pedagogical content knowledge. Educational Researcher, 40(4), 175–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bell, B., & Gilbert, J. (1994). Teacher development as professional, personal, and social development. Teaching and Teacher Education, 10(5), 483–497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Berliner, D. C., & Calfee, R. C. (1996). Handbook of educational psychology. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  10. Berry, A. (2008). Tensions in teaching about teaching: Understanding practice as a teacher educator. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  11. Berry, A., & Loughran, J. (2002). Developing an understanding of learning to teach in teacher education. In J. Loughran & T. Russell (Eds.), Improving teacher education practices through self-study (pp. 13–29). London: Routledge Falmer.Google Scholar
  12. Berry, A., Loughran, J., & van Driel, J. H. (2008). Revisiting the roots of pedagogical content knowledge. International Journal of Science Education, 30(10), 1271–1279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bertram, A., & Loughran, J. (2011). Science teachers’ views on CoRes and PaP-eRs as a framework for articulating and developing pedagogical content knowledge. Research in Science Education (Online First).Google Scholar
  14. Bhattacharyya, S., Volk, T., & Lumpe, A. (2009). The influence of an extensive inquiry-based field experience on pre-service elementary student teachers’ science teaching beliefs. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 20(3), 199–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Borko, H., & Putnam, R. T. (1996). Learning to teach. In D. C. Berliner & R. C. Calfee (Eds.), Handbook of educational psychology (pp. 673–708). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  16. Bucat, R. (2004). Pedagogical content knowledge as a way forward: applied research in chemistry education. Chemical Education: Research and Practice, 5(3), 215–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Choi, J. (2011). A self-study of the teaching of action research in a university context. Studying Teacher Education, 7(1), 35–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Clarke, A., & Erickson, G. (2004). The nature of teaching and learning in self-study. In J. J. Loughran, M. L. Hamilton, V. LaBoskey, & T. Russell (Eds.), International handbook of teaching and teacher education practices (pp. 41–67). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Corrigan, D. J., Gunstone, R. F., & Dillon, J. (2010). Approaches in considering the professional knowledge base of science. In D. J. Corrigan, J. Dillon, & R. F. Gunstone (Eds.), The professional knowledge base of science teaching. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  20. Dinkelman, T. (2003). Self-study in teacher education: a means and ends tool for promoting reflective teaching. Journal of Teacher Education, 54(1), 6–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Feldman, A. (2005). Using an existential form of reflection to understand my transformation as a teacher educator. In C. Kosnik, C. Beck, A. Freese, & A. Samaras (Eds.), Making a difference in teacher education through self-study (pp. 35–49). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Friedrichsen, P. J., Abell, S. K., Pareja, E. M., Brown, P. L., Lankford, D. M., & Volkmann, M. J. (2009). Does teaching experience matter? Examining biology teachers’ prior knowledge for teaching in an alternative certification program. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46, 357–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Geddis, A. N. (1993). Transforming subject-matter knowledge: the role of pedagogical content knowledge in learning to reflect on teaching. International Journal of Science Education, 15(6), 673–683.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Grossman, P. L. (1989). A study in contrast: sources of pedagogical content knowledge for secondary English teachers. Journal of Teacher Education, 40(5), 24–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Gunstone, R. F., Stattery, M., Baird, J. R., & Northfield, J. R. (1993). A case study exploration of development in preservice science teacher. Science Education, 77, 47–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kagan, D. M. (1992). Professional growth among preservice and beginning teachers. Review of Educational Research, 62(2), 129–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Korthagen, F., & Lunenberg, M. (2004). The nature of teaching and learning in self-study. In J. J. Loughran, M. L. Hamilton, V. LaBoskey, & T. Russell (Eds.), International handbook of teaching and teacher education practices (pp. 421–449). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. LaBoskey, V. K. (2009). “Name it and claim it”: The methodology of self-study as social justice teacher education. In D. Tidwell, M. Heston, & L. Fitzgerald (Eds.), Research methods for the self-study of practice (pp. 73–82). The Netherlands: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Loughran, J. (2007). Researching teacher education practices: responding to the challenges, demands, and expectations of self-study. Journal of Teacher Education, 58(1), 12–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Loughran, J., Berry, A., & Mulhall, P. (2006). Understanding and developing science teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge. Rotterdam: Sense.Google Scholar
  31. Magnusson, S., Krajcik, J., & Borko, H. (1999). Nature, sources and development of pedagogical content knowledge for science teaching. In J. Gess-Newsome & N. G. Lederman (Eds.), Examining pedagogical content knowledge: The construct and its implications for science education (pp. 95–132). Boston: Kluwer.Google Scholar
  32. Manouchehri, A. (2002). Developing teaching knowledge through peer discourse. Teaching and Teacher Education, 18, 715–737.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Marion, R., Hewson, P. W., Tabachnick, B. R., & Blomker, K. B. (1999). Teaching for conceptual change in elementary and secondary science methods courses. Science Education, 83(3), 275–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Montecinos, C., Walker, H., Rittershaussen, S., Nunez, C., Contreras, I., & Solis, M. C. (2011). Defining content for field-based coursework: contrasting the perspectives of secondary preservice teachers and their teacher preparation curricula. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27, 278–288.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nilsson, P., & Loughran, J. (2011). Exploring the development of pre-service science elementary teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge. Journal of Science Teacher Education. (Online First, 24 May 2011).Google Scholar
  36. Northfied, J. (1998). Teacher educators and the practice of science teacher education. In B. J. Fraser & K. G. Tobin (Eds.), International handbook of science education. The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic.Google Scholar
  37. Osmond, P., & Goodnough, K. (2011). Adopting just-in-time teaching in the context of an elementary science education methodology course. Studying Teacher Education, 7(1), 77–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Park, S., & Oliver, J.S. (2008). Revisiting the conceptualisation of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK): PCK as conceptual tool to understand teachers as professionals. Research in Science Education, 38(3), 261–284.Google Scholar
  39. Pinnegar, S., & Hamilton, M. L. (2009). Self-study of practice as a genre of qualitative research: Theory, methodology, and practice. The Netherlands: Springer.Google Scholar
  40. Richardson, V. (1997). Constructivist teaching and teacher education: Theory and practice. In V. Richardson (Ed.), Constructivist teacher education: Building new understandings (pp. 3–14). Washington, DC: Falmer.Google Scholar
  41. Samaras, A. P., & Freese, A. R. (2009). Looking back and looking forward: an historical overview of the Self-Study School. In C. Lassonde, S. Galman, & C. Kosnik (Eds.), Self-study research methodologies for teacher educators (pp. 3–19). The Netherlands: Sense.Google Scholar
  42. Schön, D. A. (1983). The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  43. Shulman, L. S. (1986). Those who understand: knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher, 15(2), 4–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Shulman, L. (1987). Knowledge and teaching: foundations of the new reform. Harvard Educational Review, 57(1), 1–22.Google Scholar
  45. Sikula, J., Buttery, T. J., & Guyton, E. (Eds.). (1996). Handbook of research on teacher education. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  46. Sillman, K., & Dana, T.M. (2001). Metaphor: A tool for promoting prospective elementary teachers’ participation in science teacher learning community. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 12(2), 87–106.Google Scholar
  47. Sperandeo-Mineo, R. M., Fazio, C., & Tarantino, G. (2005). Pedagogical content knowledge development and pre-service physics teacher education: a case study. Research in Science Education, 36(3), 235–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Spiteri, D. (2010). Back to the classroom: lessons learnt by a teacher educator. Studying Teacher Education, 6(2), 131–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Tamir, P. (1988). Subject matter and related pedagogical knowledge in teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 4(2), 99–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Tobin, K., Tippins, D. J., & Gallard, A. J. (1994). Research on instructional strategies for teaching science. In D. L. Gabel (Ed.), Handbook of research on science teaching and learning. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  51. Veal, W. R. (2004). Beliefs and knowledge in chemistry teacher development. International Journal of Science Education, 26(3), 329–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Veal, W.R., & MaKinster, J.G. (1999). Pedagogical content knowledge taxonomies. Accessed 17 November 2011.
  53. Warford, M. K. (2011). The zone of proximal teacher development. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27, 252–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Zeichner, K. (2007). Accumulating knowledge across self-studies in teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 58(1), 36–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Zembal-Saul, C., Blumenfeld, P., & Krajcik, J. (2000). Influence of guided cycles of planning, teaching, and reflection on prospective elementary teachers’ science content representations. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37(4), 318–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationKasetsart UniversityBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Centre for the Study of Teacher Education, Faculty of EducationUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

Personalised recommendations