Investigating experiences that inform university instructors' specialized knowledge for teaching protein synthesis
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] The purpose of this study was to investigate the experiences that informed three university instructors' specialized knowledge for teaching protein synthesis. Specifically, what experiences lead to a change in university instructors' teaching? In what ways do university instructors learn to teach science through their experiences? And, what is the nature of the specialized teacher knowledge that informs science instruction? I investigated the differences in the experiences of the three instructors and developed in-depth case profiles for each instructor. The primary sources of data for the study were stimulated recall interviews following observations of an entire unit on protein synthesis. These data sources were supported by background interviews to determine their academic and professional development history as well as interviews focused on their lesson plans and orientations towards teaching. The results of the analysis revealed three assertions that emerged from all three case profiles. The assertions are: (1) University science faculty change their instruction in their classes based on the specificity of their view of student difficulty, (2) University science faculty members learn science content through coursework and learn how to teach the science content through interactions with other teachers, and (3) How university science faculty members learn through their experience influences the integration of specialized teacher knowledge. The findings of this study led to the development of a model to explain how learning through experience transforms specialized teacher knowledge. These findings have implications for graduate student training and faculty professional development.
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