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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Publication details

Kind, V. (2017). Development of evidence-based, student-learning-oriented rubrics for pre-service science teachers' pedagogical content knowledge. International Journal of Science Education 41(7): 911-943.

Author(s) from Durham


This paper offers pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) rubrics, that is, guides providing criteria for grading that are potentially applicable to a range of science topics and levels of teacher experience. Grading criteria applied in the rubrics are based on qualitative analyses of planned topic-specific professional knowledge (TSPK) and content knowledge (CK). Data were collected via three topic-specific vignettes from 239 pre-service science teachers (PSTs) starting a university-based, full-time, one year teacher education programme in England. The statements were analysed for TSPK and CK. PSTs’ statements proposed instructional strategies comprising demonstrations, explanations, illustrations and analogies, classified as Relevant to the science topics, others Irrelevant. Some Relevant strategies missed an aspect that may, if enacted, help students’ learning, so were judged Incomplete. Statements were also analysed for evidence of relevant and correct CK. CK and TSPK statements are aligned into grids, creating PCK rubrics. These demonstrate the precise nature of knowledge likely to lead to instruction that impacts positively on student learning. The rubrics present the possibility of PCK repertoires that contribute clarity and precision to teaching instruction. Although findings cannot be generalised, the methodology offers a strategy for supporting out-of-field teachers, and those seeking instructional strategies to add to existing repertoires.

School of Education