Elementary Science Teacher Development of Pedagogical Content Knowledge Through Professional Development: An Exploratory Study
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Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) – a form of knowledge that allows teachers to most effectively pass their content knowledge on to students – is a useful theoretical construct, but has yet to be translated into an efficient tool for improving the practice of teaching. Using existing data from a 2008-10 study from Baylor College of Medicine’s Center for Educational Outreach, this research explored teacher professional development content knowledge gains, demographic data, and student content knowledge data in an attempt to isolate some of the attributes of teachers who are more effective at developing PCK in elementary science topics. The ultimate mission of the study is to examine differences in teachers’ ability to develop PCK through professional development. A comparison of results from forward stepwise logistic regression and best-subsets logistic regression found that identifying the development of PCK and the attributes of teachers successful in its development are more complex and varied than expected.