An Exploration of Primary Student Teacher Perceptions of the Relevance of School Experience on the Development of Science Pedagogic Content Knowledge

By Elizabeth Briten and Pamela Hodson.

Published by The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: November 8, 2014 $US5.00

Using a case study approach involving semi-structured interviews, the research examines student teachers’ perceptions of the school as a site in which to situate their learning. It is set within the context of government plans to reform teacher education and “shift” the bulk of teacher training into school. This reflects a political belief that pre-service teachers learn best in the classroom setting, gaining the relevant knowledge and skills from school practitioners; it is underpinned by a perception that teachers are equally skilled in the training of adult learners as they are with the education of young children.

Findings from the research highlight the importance of classroom experience and scientific discourse as factors that have significant impact on students’ development of Pedagogic Content Knowledge (PCK). However, it reveals an inconsistent approach to the mentoring of students within the school context and a reliance on the university to provide subject content and pedagogic theory to support classroom practice.

The implications of the research identify that it is an inappropriate to burden schools with the primary responsibility for teacher education and proposes an enhanced university role within a new model of partnership.

Keywords: Learning in Higher Education, Teacher Education, Pedagogic Content Knowledge (PCK), Situated Learning

The International Journal of Learning in Higher Education, Volume 20, Issue 4, November 2014, pp.111-122. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: November 8, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 731.922KB)).

Elizabeth Briten

Senior Lecturer Primary Science, School of Education, Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, UK

Miss Pamela Hodson

Principal Lecturer, School of Education, Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, UK