Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching, Volume 15, Issue 2, Article 2 (Dec., 2014)
Visualization in research and science teachers’ professional development

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Teachers’ professional knowledge and the use of visualization in science teaching

Teachers play important roles in influencing students’ learning and achievements (e.g. Darling-Hammond, 2000; Nye, Konstantopoulos, & Hedges, 2004). Therefore, we see the importance of contributing our knowledge concerning visualization in science education to teacher’s professional development. In this section, teachers’ professional knowledge is presented together with the aspects that teachers need to be aware of while using visualization in their teaching.

Lee Shulman introduced the notion of teachers’ professional knowledge, which it includes 'mainly' content knowledge (CK), pedagogical knowledge (PK) and pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) (Shulman, 1986/1987). PCK (Figure 4) can be seen as the knowledge used by teachers in the process of teaching (Kind, 2009) or as the knowledge of the teaching and learning of a particular CK (Bucat, 2004). PCK has become a way of understanding the complex relationship between teaching and learning with a target CK via the use of specific teaching strategies (van Driel, de Vos, Verloop, & Dekkers, 1998). During the past decades, PCK and its critical reflection have been suggested to be a requirement in teaching practice (de Jong, van Driel, & Verloop, 2005; Nilsson, 2008; van Driel, Verloop, & de Vos, 1998). Here, linking to the roles of visualization in science teaching and learning, we can say that the use of visualization is part of teachers’ professional knowledge, PCK, which teachers ought to acquire during their professional development. Surely, visualizations are ubiquitous in the teachers’ learning of CK in science, but it is not our focus in this article.

Figure 4. Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) inspried by Lee Shulman (1986/1987).


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