|M.Sc Student||Tal Marina|
|Subject||Assessing Knowledge Types of Pre- and In-Service|
|Department||Department of Education in Science and Technology||Supervisors||Professor Yehudit Dori|
|Dr. Orit Herscovitz|
Content knowledge (CK), pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), assessment knowledge (AK), and declared knowledge (DK) are fundamental teachers’ knowledge types. Second career pre-service chemistry teachers leave industry and return to the Technion to study in the Views (Mabatim) program with the objective of studying toward high school teaching certificate. The assumption is that second career pre-service teachers already have deep CK and practice in experimental chemistry, which they bring from their previous career. Their background can potentially contribute to higher quality of science teaching and learning in general and of chemistry in particular. The goal of this study was to investigate the development of CK, PCK, AK and DK of pre-service chemistry teachers in three stages during their study of an Advanced Topics in Teaching Chemistry course: at the beginning, at the end of the course, and about two months later. The participants included 29 pre-service teachers who chose chemistry education as their second career, 29 in-service chemistry teachers who serve as a comparison group I, and five expert chemistry teachers who serve as a comparison group II. We studied these teachers' knowledge types by using three questionnaires and interviews. The questionnaires include short context-based texts focusing on three topics: energy, acid-base, and oxidation-reduction. In the assignments that followed these texts, we asked them to (a) report about their level of knowledge related to a number of concepts in these topics - representing declared knowledge, (b) choose two concepts they know well and explain their meaning - representing CK, (c) pose questions - representing PCK, and (d) compose relevant student assignments - representing AK. The interviews added a deeper insight into the way these pre-service teachers think while responding to these questionnaires. Our findings indicate that most of the second career pre-service teachers improved in all types of knowledge over time. We also found that in-service teachers have higher CK than the pre-service teachers but lower AK. This might be due to the higher level of creativity and variability of the second career pre-service teachers, which had a positive effect on the process of composing these assignments.
Based on our findings and the background of the second career pre-service teachers, we can expect these teachers to make a significant contribution to raising the quality of students’ science learning in general and chemistry in particular. Our findings might indicate the need to enhance second career pre-service teachers’ PCK and AK in order for these kinds of knowledge to be in par with their strong CK. This effort might enable them to become better chemistry teachers and improve their integration into the education system. Finally, this research provides recommendations for science and engineering educators about the needs, strengths and weaknesses of second career pre-service teachers while they study methods in science and engineering teaching courses.