This paper reports findings from an ongoing study exploring how the Content Representation (CoRe) design can be used as a tool to help chemistry student teachers begin acquiring the professional knowledge required to become expert chemistry teachers. Phase 2 of the study, reported in this paper, investigated how collaboration with school-based mentors (associate teachers) on teaching practice (practicum) might impact on this process and student teachers' development of their pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). The collaboration involved identifying and discussing pedagogical issues related to a practicum-teaching topic using a student teacher's draft CoRe as a starting point and ongoing focus for the professional dialogue. Practicum offered an opportunity for aspects of student teachers' PCK, as embodied in their draft CoRes, to be explored and expanded upon in classroom programmes with the support and input of associate teachers. The findings were influenced by different contextual factors; however, the student teachers found their CoRes to be very useful frameworks for engaging in focussed professional dialogue with their teaching mentors. They valued the expertise, currency of knowledge and mentoring of their associates and reported positively about the contribution this support made to their PCK development via the CoRe design process and the transformation of the CoRe into classroom teaching.
- Content representations (CoRes)
- Pre-service teachers
- School-based mentor/associate teacher