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A critical aspect of teacher education is gaining pedagogical content knowledge of how to teach science for conceptual understanding. Given the time limitations of college methods courses, it is difficult to touch on more than a fraction of the science topics potentially taught across grades K-8, particularly in the context of relevant pedagogies. This research and development work centers on constructing a formative assessment resource to help expose pre-service teachers to a greater number of science topics within teaching episodes using various modes of instruction. To this end, 100 problem-based, science pedagogy assessment items were developed via expert group discussions and pilot testing. Each item contains a classroom vignette followed by response choices carefully crafted to include four basic pedagogies (didactic direct, active direct, guided inquiry, and open inquiry). The brief but numerous items allow a substantial increase in the number of science topics that pre-service students may consider. The intention is that students and teachers will be able to share and discuss particular responses to individual items, or else record their responses to collections of items and thereby create a snapshot profile of their teaching orientations. Subsets of items were piloted with students in pre-service science methods courses, and the quantitative results of student responses were spread sufficiently to suggest that the items can be effective for their intended purpose.

Published Citation

William W. Cobern, David Schuster, Betty Adams, Brandy Ann Skjold, Ebru Zeynep Muğaloğlu, Amy Bentz & Kelly Sparks (2014): Pedagogy of Science Teaching Tests: Formative assessments of science teaching orientations, International Journal of Science Education, DOI: 10.1080/09500693.2014.918672