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Tay, S. L., & Yeo, J. (2018). Analysis of a physics teacher's pedagogical ‘micro-actions’ that support 17-year-olds’ learning of free body diagrams via a modelling approach. International Journal of Science Education, 40(2), 109-138.
Great teaching is characterised by the specific actions a teacher takes in the classroom to bring about learning. In the context of model-based teaching, teachers’ difficulty in working with students’ models that are not scientifically consistent is troubling. To address this problem, the aim of this study is to identify the pedagogical micro-actions to support the development of scientific models and modelling skills during the evaluation and modification stages of model-based teaching. Taking the perspective of pedagogical content knowing (PCKg), it identifies these micro-actions as an in-situ, dynamic transformation of knowledges of content, pedagogy, student and environment context. Through a case-study approach, a lesson conducted by an experienced high-school physics teacher was examined. Audio and video recordings of the lesson contributed to the data sources. Taking a grounded approach in the analysis, eight pedagogical micro-actions enacted by the teacher were identified, namely “clarification”, “evaluation”, “explanation”, “modification”, “exploration”, “referencing conventions”, “focusing” and “meta-representing”. These micro-actions support students’ learning related to the conceptual, cognitive, discursive and epistemological aspects of modelling. From the micro-actions, we identify the aspects of knowledges of PCKg that teachers need in order to competently select and enact these micro-actions. The in-situ and dynamic transformation of these knowledges implies that professional development should also be situated in the context in which these micro-actions are meaningful.
This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in International Journal of Science Education. The published version is available online at
0950-0693 (print)
1464-5289 (online)
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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