Exploring the pedagogical reasoning of a physics teacher educator
2017-02-23T03:56:16Z (GMT) by
The education literature reviewed recognises a preponderant role played by teacher educators in preparing student teachers for classrooms. However, it also recognises that not so much is known about how teacher educators express and represent their pedagogy. The study used an interpretative phenomenological analysis method to investigate what is important to science teacher educators when teaching how to teach, why that is relevant and how they know it. The study was focused on the pedagogical reasoning (PR) of a physics teacher educator; how he perceives and expresses it pre, during and post teaching in a physics discipline unit in a graduate teaching program. How his pedagogical reasoning is perceived by his student teachers and to what extent it is connected with their learning experience. Shulman’s model of pedagogical reasoning and actions was used as a lens to observe this physics teacher educator’s PR including his perceptions and beliefs around teaching. Mostly through semi-structured interviews and teaching observations, the teacher educator’s PR and thinking behind his practice were explored. Student-teachers provided feedback on their views of their teacher-educator’s PR, their choice of pedagogy and whether this might have influence in their own developing pedagogies. The research arrived at two significant findings. The first one is that the teacher educator’s beliefs and views about what physics and teaching physics is about shaped and guided his pedagogical reasoning. For the teacher educator, physics and teaching physics is about “doing” things and explaining or attempting to explain a concept, a phenomenon or an experience. The second finding makes visible the key role that student teachers’ feedback had on the teacher educator’s PR. It was seen that his PR was never static but was constantly evolving due to constant evaluations of his practice and his student feedback. Discussions with the student teachers also showed that through exploring their teacher educator’s PR, that they themselves also thought more deeply about their own practice in ways they felt gave them a greater understanding in approaching and developing their own PR. By exploring the PR of an expert teacher educator, the crucial role of teacher educator can be seen as critical in the development of student teachers for the classroom.