Exploring Topic-Specific PCK Progression for Elementary Teachers Instruction of Astronomy: Focusing on the Topic of Planet Size and Distance in Solar System

천문 수업에 대한 초등 교사의 주제-특이적 PCK 발달과정 탐색 -태양계 행성의 크기와 거리 주제를 중심으로-

  • Received : 2016.07.01
  • Accepted : 2016.08.16
  • Published : 2016.08.31


Understanding of how teachers change instruction can help predict what kind of educational materials is supportive or appropriate. On the basis of this idea, we explored elementary teachers' PCK progression on specific topics of astronomy: planet size and distance in solar system. To identify the development of PCK over time, we utilized learning progression (LP) as a conceptual framework. The progression of teacher PCK can also be illustrated as the hypothetical pathway from novice to expert like LP. Eight 5th grade elementary teachers participated in this study. We observed participating teachers' astronomy classes with the same topic. In order to document topic-specific PCK of participating teachers, we developed an analytic protocol consisting of four categories: knowledge of curriculum, knowledge of teaching strategies, knowledge of assessment, and astronomical thinking practice. In addition, we monitored the changes in the four participating teachers' PCK for two years in order to validate the evidences of the PCK progression. Participating teachers in this study took some intervention by attending a four-week pre-meeting with the researchers to profile an adaptive instruction. Through this research, we profiled four and five different levels of PCK progressions in three knowledge components (curriculum, teaching strategies, student assessment) and one astronomical thinking practice (systems thinking), respectively. Participating teachers demonstrated various levels and pathways in each component of PCK. This study released the empirical evidences in fostering instructional scaffolding, which is appropriate to the level of PCK of science teachers on specific topic.


PCK progression;learning progression;astronomy class;elementary teacher


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