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Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK): Exploring its usefulness for science lecturers in higher education


Fraser, SP, Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK): Exploring its usefulness for science lecturers in higher education, Research in Science Education, 46, (1) pp. 141-161. ISSN 0157-244X (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Springer Science+Business Media

DOI: doi:10.1007/s11165-014-9459-1


In the past 30 years, pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) frameworks have become important constructs in educational research undertaken in the school education system and a focus for research for curriculum and teacher education researchers. As regards science, PCK research has been plentiful, but thus far, the concept of PCK (significantly enhanced since its proposal) has only been validated in the school context (Kindergarten to Grade 12). Within this environment, however, it has proven to be a very useful construct for understanding teacher practice and contributing to the improvement of teacher education courses. Knowledge about whether PCK is useful as a conceptual framework for science lecturers (teachers) working in higher education is as yet unknown and represents a gap in the research literature; the research outlined here is a first step in exploring its usefulness in this context. This paper provides an analysis of data obtained from semi-structured interviews conducted with nine Australian science university lecturers from various disciplines and levels of seniority and experience of tertiary teaching, as well as an academic developer skilled in facilitating science academics’ understanding of pedagogy in higher education. The research aimed to investigate the extent to which one version of a school-based science PCK framework resonated with the pedagogical thinking of university science lecturers and the ways in which it could influence their teaching practice

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Pedagogical content knowledge, science teaching, higher education, professional learning,
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Curriculum and pedagogy
Research Field:Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Teaching and curriculum
Objective Field:Teacher and instructor development
UTAS Author:Fraser, SP (Professor Sharon Fraser)
ID Code:99598
Year Published:2016 (online first 2015)
Web of Science® Times Cited:27
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2015-03-30
Last Modified:2018-03-18

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