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From teaching physics to teaching children : the role of craft pedagogy

Findlay, Morag and Bryce, Thomas (2010) From teaching physics to teaching children : the role of craft pedagogy. PhD thesis, University Of Strathclyde.

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Abstract

Current policy developments in Scottish Education have increased the emphasis on constructivist teaching approaches from 3 – 18 as a way to raise pupils‟ attainment by increasing teachers' skill levels. The aim of this study was to explore student teachers' developing pedagogical content knowledge about teaching electricity, which is a traditionally difficult topic in physics, during a one year PGDE course, the following Probationary Year and beyond. Some of the cohort volunteered to be interviewed about aspects of the electricity syllabus taught in the Scottish secondary school curriculum. An interview schedule was developed based on a typical line of development through the basic electricity syllabus in Scotland. Semi-structured interviews were carried out at the beginning and end of the PGDE year and again at the end of the Probationary Year. A fourth interview was carried out nearly four years after completing the PGDE year. The repeat interviews were analysed using an analytical framework based on Shulman's pedagogical content knowledge as interpreted within science education research using thematic analysis. Most of the student teachers showed a change from concentrating on how to teach physics (to these children) to how to teach these children (physics). The analysis suggested that the teachers had learned how to present their knowledge by interacting with pupils. In the course of this analysis a Craft Pedagogy framework was developed to account for their development: they developed individual Craft Pedagogies. The thesis presented here is that these individual Craft Pedagogies can be synthesised to generate a new Craft Pedagogy framework with wider application to teachers' learning.