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Understanding In-service Teachers'€™ Orientation towards Interdisciplinary Science Inquiry

Abstract

"The notion of a science teaching orientation is central to understanding a teacher's Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) and the relationship between their knowledge, beliefs and practice (Abell, 2007). Teachers' science teaching orientations act as filters or amplifiers in shaping teachers' overall classroom behavior. However, very few empirical studies have identified science teachers' orientations in relation with different components of PCK and none toward interdisciplinary science inquiry. Through the use of interviews, and multiple classroom observations we attempt to understand teachers' conceptions toward each component of PCK and their overall orientation(s). We present three case studies depicting teachers' orientations on a continuum. We present our teachers' orientations in the form of profiles. These profiles provide us insights about teachers' conceptions toward science teaching and learning and their classroom behavior. This also helped us understand teachers' struggle with understanding and implanting interdisciplinary science inquiry in the classroom. Implications for professional development and the use of profiles as an exploratory research tool are discussed."

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