Publication Date

2016-03-03

Availability

Open access

Embargo Period

2016-03-03

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense

2015-09-18

First Committee Member

Daryl B. Greenfield

Second Committee Member

Rebecca Shearer

Third Committee Member

Batya Elbaum

Abstract

Preschool teachers and their interactions with children are the most important aspect of classroom quality (Gunn, et al., 2013). Therefore, it is important to understand what factors contribute to successful early educators. Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) is a prime construct of interest that relates positively with child outcomes (Ball, 1988; Kanter & Konstantinopolous, 2010; McCray & Chen, 2012; Munck, 2007). Over the past decade, leaders in early educational research have identified science to be an “ideal domain for early childhood education” (Bowman, Donovan, & Burns, 2001, p. 209). However, there is currently no research examining the PCK for early science. It is crucial that we understand the PCK for early science to inform professional development and best prepare our teachers to be successful in engaging children in science experiences. The current study is the first to address this need. This project has developed a measure of PCK for early science and begins to unpack this complex yet powerful construct.

Keywords

preschool; pedagogical content knowledge; early science; measurement

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