A longitudinal investigation of changing conceptions about teaching science and pedagogical implications of student diversity

Douglas B. Larkin, Liz Carletta, Sam Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This longitudinal case study investigates how one science teachers' conceptions change in one domain (assessment of science learning) but not in another (understanding the pedagogical implications of student diversity) over a period of 10 years that includes a university teacher education program and nine subsequent years of experience of classroom teaching. This article describes the case of Victor, a White and male high school physics teacher, and documents changes in his conceptions of teaching science over 10 years. This study suggests that teachers who undertake the effort to change an aspect of their practice, knowing that they will need to rethink some of their existing ideas, can be successful. Conversely, if an area of teacher knowledge is underdeveloped at the conclusion of a teacher preparation program, there is no guarantee that the situation will be ameliorated simply through years of classroom experience, even if teachers grow to feel a level of increased confidence and comfort in that domain. It also demonstrates that the opportunity to undergo conceptual change with regard to issues of student diversity is highly dependent on a science teacher's identity, personal history, and teaching contexts and experiences.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScience Education
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • case study
  • conceptions of teaching science
  • conceptual change
  • race
  • science teacher education

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