The development of PCK in a post-baccalaureate certification program : a longitunal study of the development of teacher knowledge of students as learners and assessment
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This study focused on the development of specific aspect of beginning teacher Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) in an Alternative Certification Program (ACP). Data was collected over a period of over two years and included lesson plans, interviews with the participants and their mentors as well as classroom observations and participant reflections. Four participants were purposefully selected to represent one cohort in the ACP. Individual profiles constructed for each case and the subsequent cross-case analysis revealed that the participants shifted their beliefs about students as learners and assessment based on the influence of the context under which they were developing at each point in time. These shifts, while dependent on their views of the context, were strongly influenced by their initial views as they relate to these aspects of PCK. Participants would resolve any conflict arising with new views presented to them in a subjective manner, prioritizing coherence with their prior knowledge on the specific aspect of PCK and with the other aspects of their PCK. These findings provide an alternative perspective on the nature of the shift in knowledge that occurs during teacher preparation and the initial years of teaching. It allows us to provide a different angle on the dynamics among PCK components based on the interaction among them as they develop over time. Moreover they allow us to see that this development is neither linear nor unidirectional. Additionally it shows us that teachers constantly revalue their views of students as learners and assessment based on the experiences provided by both their academic and professional context.