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The "physics expert" discourse model – counterproductive for trainee physics teachers' professional identity building?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Centre for Gender Research.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6265-0004
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Physics Didactics.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3244-2586
2015 (English)In: 11th Conference of the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA), Helsinki, August 31 to September 4, 2015, 2015Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this paper we investigate the discourse models enacted in three different sections of a Swedish physics teacher training programme: the physics department, the education department and school. We are interested in what happens when the culture of physics meets the cultures of education and school within physics teacher education and the potential effects of these three cultures on trainee physics teachers’ professional identity building.

Working at a large university in Sweden, we conducted semi structured interviews with nine teacher educators—three from each section of the programme. In our analysis we identified several discourse models in the interviewees’ talk about the goals of physics teacher training. We focus in particular on the physics expert model that dominated amongst the teacher trainers at the physics department and also amongst school placement supervisors. In this model, the primary goal of physics teaching is to create future physics experts. The physics expert discourse model coexists with several other discourse models that value quite different goals such as the development of practical skills, reflective practice, critical thinking and citizenship. These potentially competing models were more likely to be invoked in the education department.

Finally we highlight the potential problems the physics expert discourse model can cause for physics teachers’ professional identity. We argue that a better understanding of the range of potentially competing discourse models would allow teacher trainers to make conscious, informed decisions about the training environment. We also suggest that knowledge of these models is important for trainee physics teachers since it empowers them to question the kind of teacher they want to become.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
National Category
Physical Sciences Didactics Pedagogy Gender Studies
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Physics Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-262243OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-262243DiVA: diva2:852983
Conference
Conference of the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA)
Available from: 2015-09-10 Created: 2015-09-10 Last updated: 2015-09-22

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Larsson, JohannaAirey, John

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