Dissertation Defense – Donna Barrett-Williams

March 13, 2014 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
College of Education, room 650
30 Pryor Street Southwest
Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303

The Influence of a K-5 Science Endorsement on the Professional Knowledge Bases of Elementary Teachers
by Donna Barrett-Williams

Elementary teachers face many constraints when teaching science including limited time, content knowledge, confidence, and experience with reform-oriented instructional practices (Lee & Houseal, 2003; Davis, Petish & Smithey, 2006; Appleton, 2007: Metz, 2009; Wilson & Kittleson, 2011 ). The scope of this study was to (a) explore the influence of a K-5 science endorsement on the dimensions of professional knowledge of elementary science teachers and (b) to explore how those knowledge bases inform a teacher’s Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK). Within the Consensus Model of PCK, PCK is defined as “knowledge of, reasoning behind, and planning for teaching a particular topic in a particular way for a particular purpose to particular students for enhanced student outcomes” (Gess-Newsome & Carlson, 2013).