Using ePCK as a framework for examining elementary teachers professionalization of teaching in a graduate level Interdisciplinary Environmental Education program : ePCK를 활용한 초등교사의 환경 수업 전문성에 대한 연구: 교사 환경교육 프로그램을 중심으로

Cited 0 time in Web of Science Cited 0 time in Scopus

Young Joo Lee

Sonya Nichole Martin
사범대학 협동과정 환경교육전공
Issue Date
서울대학교 대학원
elementary teacherprofessional development for teachingenvironmental educationEnvironmental Pedagogical Content Knowledge(ePCK)quantitative analysisteacher education program
학위논문 (석사)-- 서울대학교 대학원 : 협동과정 환경교육 전공, 2016. 2. Sonya Nichole Martin.
In elementary schools in Korea, teachers play a deciding role in determining what and how to teach their classes with regards to Environmental Education (EE), which means that teachers play a critical role in determining whether students will learn EE at all and, also, what they will learn should they choose to implement lessons as a creative discretion activity or integrated curriculum topic. A number of studies suggest it is imperative for EE to be reorganized within the curriculum and that teachers require professional development to improve their content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and general understanding about students as learners if they are to improve their ability to teach topics in EE. Magnusson et al.s (1999) Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) model is helpful for thinking about the special forms of professional knowledge that teachers need in order for them to transform knowledge from other domains to support their teaching. By employing PCK as a tool, researchers can help guide the development of teacher education programs to give teachers the skills they need to help them recognize what they know, how students learn, and to be able to make decisions about using strategies that enhance teaching and learning. As such, research has shown the PCK model offers teacher educators a useful tool effectively enhancing teacher professional development.
However, there is limited research about elementary teachers professional development related to teaching topics in EE and there are no studies exploring how elementary teachers PCK impacts on their ability to effectively design and implement EE lessons at the primary grades level. In this study, I examine teachers perceptions about their own Environmental Pedagogical Content Knowledge (ePCK) and I analyze factors that influence on teachers ePCK. Specifically, I situate this research in the context of a graduate level Interdisciplinary Environmental Education (GIEE) program at a prominent university in Korea that serves a large population of elementary teachers. Building from other research on PCK and drawing from literature about best practices in EE, I designed the Exploring Elementary School Teachers' ePCK (EEST:ePCK) questionnaire to measure teachers generalized pedagogical content knowledge in the context of EE. By comparing responses to survey questions designed to measure perceptions of ePCK by teachers who have completed the GIEE program and teachers who have not completed the program, I explore the impact of teacher participation in the GIEE program on teachers ePCK.
The EEST:ePCK uses a four-point Likert scale with two different sections. The first section focuses on measuring ePCK and includes seven sub-knowledge areas with item statements about Knowledge of Subject Matter, Knowledge of Curriculum, Knowledge of Learner, Knowledge of Instructional Strategies, Knowledge of Environmental Context, Knowledge of Educational Goal, and Knowledge of Evaluation. The second section is designed to evaluate teachers experiences in the GIEE program. In order to do so, the second section of the questionnaire includes items designed to evaluate different components of the program and also includes an open-ended response section to gather additional qualitative responses to describe teachers experiences more fully. Those participants who have already graduated from the GIEE program only completed the second section of the EEST:ePCK.
In this thesis, I describe both the validation process for the EEST:ePCK and I share findings from a pilot study conducted using an electronic survey system called Survey Monkey. A total of 173 teachers participated in the survey and 130 of the surveys were included in the final analysis. The complied data was analyzed to discern how elementary teachers perceive their own ePCK and to determine what impact teachers participation in a professional masters degree program with a focus on EE had on their perception of their ePCK. According to the research questions for this study, I analyzed (1) each group of teachers general perception of their ePCK and I highlighted similarities and difference between the two groups of elementary teachers
(2) I identified variables that may impact on different domains of ePCK for teachers in each group, and (3) I identified which aspects of teachers experiences in the Interdisciplinary EE program most significantly impacted on their ePCK.
The results of this study indicate that the majority of the teachers who completed the Interdisciplinary EE program (treatment group) evaluated themselves to have relatively high levels of ePCK compared to those teachers who did not participate in the program (control group). However, teacher responses on the subdomains Knowledge of Instructional Strategies and Knowledge of Evaluation, revealed very little differences between the treatment and control group suggesting that there is room for improvement in the design of the GIEE program. Findings from the second section of the EEST:ePCK suggest that participation in the GIEE program positively impacts on teachers ePCK and teachers responses to the open-ended questions indicate they generally have a positive view of the program, but they also suggest the program can be improved by making more theory/research to classroom practice connections.
Finding from this research indicate that teacher education programs, such as the GIEE, can positively influence teachers perception of ePCK by enhancing teachers professionalization related to various forms of knowledge about EE. However, my findings also suggest that in order for effective EE instructional practices to be implemented in teachers classrooms, the GIEE program needs to be revised to focus more attention on developing teachers ability to apply the knowledge learned in the courses in this GIEE into real classroom settings. Teacher responses suggest they would benefit from more specific EE teaching and learning strategies and more actual opportunities to integrate EE into a real classroom setting. By using an ePCK framework to examine the impact of a teacher education program on teachers perceptions of their knowledge and practices, curriculum designers and teacher educations might be able to more effectively target aspects of their programs that can be altered to better complement the situations in which elementary teachers are trying to implement EE topics in their classrooms.
I conclude this thesis by building from these findings to discuss general implications for improving elementary teachers ePCK through teacher professional development programs and by discussing the implications of this research for the Korean education system more specifically.
Files in This Item:
Appears in Collections:
College of Education (사범대학)Program in Environment Education (협동과정-환경교육전공)Theses (Master's Degree_협동과정-환경교육전공)
  • mendeley

Items in S-Space are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.