Examination Of The Topic-Specific Nature Of Chemistry Teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge And Students' Perceptions Of Their Teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge


Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Gazi Üniversitesi, Eğitim Bilimleri Enstitüsü, Turkey

Approval Date: 2016

Student: SİNEM ÜNER

Consultant: HÜSEYİN AKKUŞ

Abstract:

This study aimed to determine the topic-specific nature of the pedagogical content knowledge of experienced chemistry teachers with the topics of interactions between chemical species and states of matter and to identify the secondary school students' perceptions of the teachers' pedagogical content knowledge. The teachers' pedagogical content knowledge of interactions between chemical species and states of matter were examined for orientation towards science teaching, knowledge of learner, knowledge of instructional strategy, knowledge of curriculum and knowledge of assessment components. This study was conducted using the case study method which is a qualitative research design. The study group was constituted using the criterion sampling technique which is a purposive sampling method. The study included two experienced chemistry teachers. The data were collected through semi-structured interviews, observations, card-sorting activities, field notes and content representation to reveal the topic-specific nature of the chemistry teachers' pedagogical content knowledge. To determine the students' perceptions of the teachers' pedagogical content knowledge, the two chemistry teachers x administered the scale (SPCKP) that was developed in this study to 49 students who studied in two separate classes and conducted semi-structured interviews with six students from each class. The scale development process was executed with 659 secondary school students. The data obtained from the study were analyzed through the descriptive analysis and content analysis methods. As a result of the study, the components of the teachers' pedagogical content knowledge were found to differ for each topic. However, similar characteristics were found to be present in some components of the teachers' pedagogical content knowledge for each topic. The study concluded that the teachers had a predominately exam-focused orientation in both topics. Moreover, the teachers' didactic orientation prevailed due to their concern for completing the teaching of the topics in the curriculum by the end of the academic year, particularly for the topic of states of matter. Because of the abstract nature of the topic of interactions between chemical species, the teachers used analogies, models and role-playing techniques. On the other hand, the teachers generally concentrated on daily life examples and numerical problem solutions for the topic of states of matter. For both topics, the teachers informed themselves through the curriculum and came across different disciplines, particularly in the topic of states of matter. The teachers' knowledge of learner was examined, and the teachers were found to be in the opinion that the students had more difficulty with interactions between chemical species because of the abstract nature of this topic. The teachers also warned their students about the challenges of both topics and the alternative conceptions they know of through professional experience. The study determined that the teachers only used the question and answer technique to find out whether their students had alternative conceptions or not, and they usually did not attempt to eliminate the students' alternative conceptions. The study concluded that the teachers evaluated the understanding of the students in both topics using the traditional assessment and evaluation techniques. The teachers asked interpretation-based questions for the topic of interactions between chemical species while they asked numerical-based questions for the topic of states of matter. The study also concluded that the teachers' orientations were the most significant factors that affected their decisions in teaching. Furthermore, the study showed that the teachers had a predominantly teacher-centered orientation due to their concerns for preparing the students for the exams and teaching the topics in the curriculum by the end of the academic year. In this study, the scale that was developed to determine the students' perceptions of the teachers' pedagogical content knowledge was found to be valid and reliable. Finally, the study showed that the results obtained by administering the scale to the students were compliant with the results determined by the researcher regarding the teachers' pedagogical content knowledge.