The Development of Science Teachers’ Professional Competence

  • Stefan SorgeEmail author
  • Anita Stender
  • Knut Neumann


On re-examining some of our earlier research into secondary science teachers’ PCK, as we reposition this work within the Refined Consensus Model (RCM) of PCK, we uncover the RCM is not only a model of PCK. We argue the RCM is also a model of science teachers’ professional competence and its development since the model identifies other elements of science teachers’ professional competence, including the role played by broader knowledge bases as well as amplifiers and filters moderating exchanges between knowledge bases. To support our argument, in this chapter, we utilise data from two earlier studies that investigated exchanges between knowledge bases as secondary science teachers develop professional competence. Re-examining this data through the interpretive lens of the RCM, the first study utilised paper–pencil-tests that assessed pre-service physics teachers’ content knowledge (CK), collective PCK (cPCK) and pedagogical knowledge (PK). The analyses reveal a stronger correlation between PK and cPCK in the first half and stronger correlation between CK and cPCK in the second half of teacher education. Again from a RCM perspective, the second study used the same instrument to assess cPCK, plus instructional planning vignettes to assess physics teachers’ personal/enacted PCK (pPCK/ePCK) and standardised paper–pencil questionnaires to examine selected amplifiers and filters. The results suggest an increased influence of cPCK on pPCK/ePCK for more experienced physics teachers, moderated by motivational orientations. This retrospective treatment of earlier research data reveals, as the RCM implies, the development of cPCK is informed by broader professional knowledge bases, whereas cPCK plays a major role in the development of pPCK/ePCK.


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics EducationKiel UniversityKielGermany
  2. 2.Department of Physics EducationUniversity Duisburg-EssenDuisburgGermany

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