Examining Indonesian Preservice Science Teachers’ Teaching Orientations And Pedagogical Reasoning

Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Science Education

First Advisor

William W. Cobern, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Brandy A-S. Pleasants, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Adam C. Channell, Ph.D.


Indonesia, pedagogical content knowledge, pedagogical reasoning, preservice science teachers, science teacher education, teaching orientations


In science teaching and learning, Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) is an overarching term for teacher knowledge, including a teacher’s science teaching orientation, knowledge of instructional strategies, knowledge of student understanding of science concepts, knowledge of curriculum, and knowledge of assessment. Teaching orientation is an aspect of PCK and an area for investigation, especially concerning preservice science teachers who are just learning to be effective. Teaching orientation is a critical aspect of PCK in that it pulls together all other aspects and is associated with a teacher’s decision-making involving reasoning. Teacher training institutions play a crucial role in developing teachers’ pedagogical knowledge and skills.

This study consists of three stand-alone research papers but is interconnected. Using the teaching orientation spectrum developed by Cobern, Schuster, Adams, Skjold, Muğaloğlu, Bentz, and Sparks (2014) along with Shulman’s (1987) model of pedagogical reasoning, the study 1 profiles Indonesian preservice science teachers’ teaching orientations and reasoning. This study implemented a mixed-method to profile Indonesian preservice science teachers teaching orientations and reasoning. Sixty-six preservice biology teachers participated in this study. The findings reveal that although Indonesian preservice science teachers’ teaching orientation is slightly more student-centered, their teaching method preference from teacher-centered to student-centered instructions. These orientations were selected based on various reasons guiding the preservice teachers in decision making. In making decisions, the preservice science teachers considered the role of the teacher and students in the classroom. It is also noticeable that the reasons behind the teacher’s teaching decision depicting the development of pedagogical reasoning align with Shulman’s (1987) model of reasoning. Study 2 is basic qualitative research that is aimed at analyzing the interaction among preservice science teachers’ PCK components. Six preservice biology teachers participated in this study to share their experiences during the apprenticeship program. The results show that during the apprenticeship program, the preservice teachers were able to integrate their PCK into their reasons for making decisions related to their teaching orientations. Study 3 implemented a single holistic case study, and two teacher training institutions agreed to participate. The findings reveal that teacher-training institutions, in various ways, supported the development of preservice teachers’ knowledge of teaching instruction, decision-making, and reasoning within the National Standard and Framework for higher education curriculum. Teacher training courses are designed to have the preservice teachers learning actively by implementing collaborative teaching and learning.

These findings help support preservice teachers’ learning during the training program. By considering the importance of preservice teacher’s knowledge for teaching, the results of this study also provide critical information for the teacher education institutions, especially in Indonesia, that encouraging preservice science teachers to express their reasons related to an orientation toward science teaching is crucial as the representation of teacher’s PCK components development.

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