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Exploring the development of Irish pre-service science teachers’ scientific inquiry orientations using a pedagogical content knowledge lens within a targeted learning community

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dc.contributor.advisor O'Reilly, John
dc.contributor.advisor Mooney Simmie, Geraldine Lehane, Louise 2016-09-08T13:26:36Z 2016-09-08T13:26:36Z 2016
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract This current study reports on the findings from a two year longitudinal exploratory case study. A qualitative dominant mixed methods approach was used to establish the orientations of a cohort of Irish pre-service teachers (PSTs) towards the practice of scientific inquiry as they transitioned through their initial teacher education (ITE). A pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) lens was used to capture and portray the orientations towards scientific inquiry in order to examine whether such orientations were embedded within the PSTs’ PCK. Phase one began by introducing a cohort of PSTs (n=35) to the theoretical construct of PCK using a lens that has gained significant attention in the research literature, known as content representation (CoRe). A CoRe represents group PCK and in phase one a CoRe was developed before and after a six week teaching practicum experience to identify exemplars of inquiry orientations. The results of this phase, including some classroom observations, revealed their orientations towards inquiry practice were lacking. This resulted in the author making a slight adaptation to the CoRe in phase two to include a greater inquiry focus. The results of phase two suggest that as the cohort (n=12, due to dropout) engaged in CoRe workshops they began to develop their inquiry orientations due in part to the interactive discursive environment that the CoRe workshop presents. The PSTs were involving themselves in a professional learning community (PLC) but was theory put into practice? In phase three the developing espoused orientations towards scientific inquiry appeared to have transitioned into classroom practice through the analysis of classroom observations, interviews, lesson plans and a survey. This survey was also distributed to PSTs not involved in the study (n=29) and in-service teachers (n=94) for comparative purposes. The findings have shown that the average action of scientific inquiry were significantly higher for the PSTs involved in the study which allows the author to suggest the following conclusion: The PSTs’ exposure to the adapted PCK lens has appeared to enhance their orientations towards scientific inquiry through their social construction of knowledge within a structured PLC. They were in a sense engaged in an “inquiry” into their understanding of scientific inquiry and were able to develop their own “living educational theory” (Whitehead 1989, p.7) of what they considered scientific inquiry to represent in classroom practice. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher University of Limerick en_US
dc.subject science teaching en_US
dc.subject education en_US
dc.subject Ireland en_US
dc.title Exploring the development of Irish pre-service science teachers’ scientific inquiry orientations using a pedagogical content knowledge lens within a targeted learning community en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/doctoralThesis en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_theses_dissertations en_US
dc.contributor.sponsor IRC en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US

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