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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Publication details

Kind, V. & Wallace, R. (2008), Train, teach; taught? How the content of specific science subject matter knowledge sessions impacts on trainee teachers' classroom practice and children's learning, in Bungum, B., Wallin, A. & Andersson, B. eds, NorDiNa 2: The 9th Nordic Research Symposium on Science Education. Reykjavik, Iceland, Reykjavik, 151-167.

Author(s) from Durham


The impact science sessions for trainee science teachers have on 11-14 year olds' learning of science was assessed using questionnaires and a "Video-interview (trainee) - Interview (pupils)" (V-1-1) technique devised for this study. V-1-1 involved: video-recording trainee-taught lessons; and two interviews - with a pupil group to probe learning occurring in the lesson and with the trainee.
Eighty UK-based trainees taking a one-year postgraduate teacher education course completed the questionnaire probing perceptions about university- and school-based training sessions designed to develop science subject matter knowledge (SMK) and pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). Six trainees participated in V-1-1.
Most trainess saw all sessions as SMK-based, regardless of teacher educators' intended purposes. Lesson videos revealed "describing" activities, task completion and good behaviour as main focii. Explanation of key science ideas and use of materials and/ideas from training sessions were largely absent. Trainee interviews revealed contrasts: most perceived a lesson as "successful" when children completed tasks quietly. Other trainees realised their understanding impacted on pupils' learning science concepts. Pupil interviews showed positive attitudes towards science and learning difficult ideas, but little specific learning of topics taught.


11th-15th June 2008

School of Education