Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Science Education

First Advisor

Dr. Brandy Ann Skjold

Second Advisor

Dr. Marcia K. Fetters

Third Advisor

Dr. Renee’ S. Schwartz


Science education, pedagogical content knowledge, nature of science, nature of scientific inquiry, teacher development, conceptual change


The purpose of this dissertation project is to explore preservice science teachers’ development of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) for targeted aspects of nature of science (NOS) and nature of scientific inquiry (NOSI). Through multiple data sources, it is examined how preservice science teachers’ understanding of NOS and NOSI have changed over the program, and manifests itself in their classroom practice. This is an exploratory multiple case study of participants’ experiences and developments during a teacher development program. Data is collected in the form of open-ended surveys, interviews, observations, lesson plans, video materials, and teaching documents. After all data is collected, two participants, Charlie and Rose, are purposefully selected among those who participated in this program in order to show a successful NOS and NOSI teaching practice. All data is analyzed in three stages. The first stage includes the analysis of the questionnaires, interviews, students’ works, and classroom observations before the two-weeks teaching practicum in order to describe of the development of their views and schema of their PCK for NOS and NOSI. The second stage includes the analysis of twoweeks teaching practicum. The data from preservice teachers’ teaching videos, teaching reflections, and observations are analyzed in order to understand what and how they teach regarding NOS and NOSI. In the last stage, two analyses are compared for consistency/inconsistency to answer of how their PKC is represented in their teaching practice, and the factors mediate their teaching is compiled. Data analysis indicates Charlie begin the program with mixed views, while, Rose has better views of NOS and NOSI at the beginning of the program. During the program, both two preservice teachers improve their understandings of almost all of the NOS and NOSI aspects. Data analysis about development of Rose and Charlie’s PCK for NOS/NOSI indicates at the beginning of the program, Rose has better ideas of teaching NOS and NOSI than Charlie. She has a clear plan and organization to teach specific NOS and NOSI aspects. She is aware of different teaching strategies and assessments techniques, and how to use those while teaching NOS and NOSI. On the other hand, Charlie has very general ideas and views of teaching science. At the end of the program, there is a huge improvement on both Rose and Charlie’s understanding of PCK. For integrating their knowledge, and factors mediate their abilities and teaching experience, Rose and Charlie successfully integrate the components of their PCK to create learning opportunities for their students. They rely upon their knowledge of subject matter, representations, instructional strategies, assessment, and curriculum to create opportunities, which engage students in making and testing predictions as well as supporting claims and conclusions with evidence. Also, some additional factors such as, teacher self-efficacy, lesson planning, or general pedagogical knowledge have quite a few impacts on their teaching practicum.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access