(i) order to enhance learners’ understanding of

(i)         Subject
matter knowledge

The
first catagory of the CoRe revealed the aspects of subject matter knowledge
that I intended my learners to learn to better understand the topic on EMI.
These included the concepts, laws, rules, and principles that govern the topic
of EMI. Each concept was organised in such a way that it consisted of
definition(s), factors that influence its magnitude and directions, and
equation(s) with their related units of measurement. These aspects of content
knowledge represent the structure and organisation of the topic which Shulman
(1987) regards as ways of identifying whether the teacher has expert knowledge
of the content to be taught. This also emerged during the construction of the
three concept maps. (Appendix C)

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Constructing
the final CoRe demanded fine-tuning and updating subject matter knowledge about
EMI. This is analysed in relation to the three constructed concept-maps. The
concept maps are tools created and used to illustrate the student-teacher’s
growth in regards to the subject matter knowledge, which greatly influenced the
scaffolding process of designing the final CoRe. The student-teacher’s subject
knowledge was however limited during the planning phase of this presented
study. It was however after the completion of the planning phase that it was
noted and the necessary amendments were made to construct the final CoRe.

(ii)        General
pedagogical knowledge

Several
aspects of teacher knowledge explained in the discussion of the CoRe revealed
the development of my general pedagogical knowledge regarding the teaching of
this topic. These included:

1.         the
teaching strategies that were discussed above;

2.         the
educational aims of teaching the topic, and

3.         the
awareness of learners’ cognitive abilities and social behaviours that I focused
on in      order to enhance learners’
understanding of the topic.

 

 

(iii)       Knowledge of
learners

The
discussion of the CoRe revealed how I understood my learners’ learning
challenges. Before I presented this topic to them, I was aware of the potential
challenges that they would encounter when I teach them this topic. These
challenges included their lack of problem-solving skills, their alternative
conceptions regarding the devices that use the process of EMI as well as their
cognitive abilities and behaviour. These challenges were picked up in the topics
that I taught them prior to this topic. Going into this topic, I was quite
aware of some of the misconceptions that learners would likely transfer into
this topic from other previous topics, their lack of prior knowledge regarding
the EMI topic and their inability to relate some of the devices that they use
in their everyday experiences to the EMI.

 

 

Some
misconceptions anticipated in regards to the three Big Ideas include:

1.         Big Idea 1:

            1.1       Learners
regard magnetic field lines as real entities,

            1.2       Confusion between electric and magnetic
effect, as the EMI phenomena might not                        necessarily play obvious roles in
learner’s everyday life.

2.         Big Idea 2:

            2.1       The
induced field is in the opposite direction to the field that induces it rather
than              the change in the field
inducing it,

            2.2       Learners believe that there must always
be contact between the magnetic field                             and
the conductor in order for an emf to be induced, as most text books make use                   of 2D-representations of the
EMI-process instead of 3D-representations.

3.         Big Idea 3:

            3.1       Difference
between ‘potential difference’ and ‘induced emf’.

            3.2       Inability
to distinguish between “change of”  vs. “rate
of change” in regards to a                             magnetic field.

 

 

(iv)       Knowledge of
Context

The
CoRe does not explicitly reveal some of the factors associated with the context
through which this topic would be presented, except the curriculum to be
covered and the resources that would be used to teach this topic.

Some
of the contextual factors that I considered before teaching the topic included
the socio-economic background of the learners and the time available for
teaching the topic. Some devices that use the process of EMI were used in my
power point slides and simulations in order to indicate the concept of EMI. The
time available for teaching this topic was also considered when planning the
lessons as the topic was taught during the allocated school hours.

 

Data analysis in terms of the four
manifestations:

 

(i)         Curricular
saliency

The
final CoRe  included and reflected the subject
matter knowledge that I intended to teach the learners so that they can better
understand the topic. The first category of the CoRe included knowledge that I
intended my learners to learn about this topic at this particular grade level.
It includes some knowledge that is indirectly covered in the grade 11
curriculum such as the magnetic force and Lenz’s law concepts. Their inclusion
in the final CoRe can be viewed as an improvement as it is meant to assist
learners to better understand the topic as these are fundamental in
understanding the whole process of EMI.

The
final CoRe also contained knowledge that I intended to withhold from the
learners when teaching a particular big idea. In constructing the original CoRe
it was thought to completely withhold this information from the learners in an
attempt to ensure that their conceptual development would proceed without any
unnecessary distractions and confusions which may lead to misconceptions.
However, after reflecting about this decision with my critical friends, it was
decided that this knowledge would in fact be useful to the learners only once
they have understood the big idea they were supposed to learn before being
introduced to another big idea.

The
Big Ideas contained in the final CoRe
were sequenced in such a way that learners’ conceptual development would take
place gradually and to ensure that what learners have learned in the previous
big idea would link up with the current knowledge they were learning and
eventually also with the following Big Ideas.

For
example the Big Ideas were sequenced
in such a way so that learners would first learn that:

1.         The relative motion of a conductor and
a magnetic field produces an electric current,

2.         The EMI process involves concepts such
as changing magnetic field, induced emf,          electric
field and induced current,

3.         The vector nature of these concepts
affects the induced current.

 

After learners have
mastered these concepts they were introduced to the second Big Idea that required learners to know that:

 

1.         There are two magnetic fields involved
in the EMI process:

            1.1       The
changing magnetic field that induces current, and

            1.2       The
magnetic field produced by the induced current.

2.         The induced current produces its own
magnetic field that opposes the changing magnetic            field that has produced it (Lenz’s Law)

3.         The direction of the induced current
and its associated magnetic field can be found using             the RHR, and

4.         It is the interaction of these magnetic
fields that will result in a magnetic force.

 

Concepts of the first Big Idea are related to those of the
second Big Idea as they comprehend
the whole process of electromagnetic induction. (Fig.2 & Fig.3)

Therefore, with the
third Big Idea in mind learners were
intended to master:

1.         EMI concepts, such as:

            1.1       ‘induced
emf’

            1.2       ‘magnetic
flux’

            1.3       ‘magnetic
field strength’

            1.4       ‘rate
of change of flux’.

2.         Definitions of each of these concepts.

3.         Factors influencing the magnitude of
these concepts,

4.         The directional nature of these
concepts,

5.         The units associated with these
concepts,

6.         Equations of each of these concepts and
their applications,

7.         Faraday’s Law of EMI and its
implications, and

8.         The relationship between Faraday’s Law
and Ohm’s Law.

 

Therefore,
the sequencing can also be seen as an improvement from the original CoRe as the
new knowledge was linked with learners’ prior knowledge. The contextual
knowledge about EMI also linked with what learners experienced in their
everyday life.

Therefore,
the development of my knowledge of curricular saliency was illustrated by the
way I sequenced the Big Ideas so that learners could learn the topic in a
logical order. The selection of the three Big Ideas was not just the
irresponsible noting down of headings, but rather illustrates core concepts
that the students should understand. This does however relate to the
development of my knowledge of curricular saliency as it also implies those concepts
and skills that are important for students to learn at this stage of their
learning.

(ii)        Learner’s
prior knowledge

In
order to support the sequencing of the three Big Ideas, it is important to ensure that learners possess the
following prior knowledge in regards to each Big Idea:

1.         Big Idea 1:

            1.1       The
difference between permanent magnets and magnetic fields,

            1.2       Not
possible to isolate one magnetic pole from the other,

            1.3       Electric charges that are alike will
repel each other, while opposites will attract                              each other.

2.         Big Idea 2:

            2.1       Magnetic
field can be represented by field lines,

            2.2       Magnetic
field lines point from the North pole to the South pole on the outside, but              from the South pole to the North
pole inside the magnet.

            2.3       Magnetic field of a permanent magnet can
be explained in terms of domains.

3.         Big Idea 3:

            3.1       All
objects have (moving) electrons associated with magnetic fields,

            3.2       A
charge that moves in a magnetic field, experiences a force due to the field,

            3.3       Basic
circuit terminology as well as the applicable Laws, i.e. Ohm’s Law.

            3.4       Know
how to utilize mathematical skills to apply to calculations.

 

(iii)       Conceptual teaching strategies

The
fifth category of the CoRe revealed the specific teaching strategies that I
intended to use when teaching the topic. These included the use of practical
activities, individual activities, class discussions, and question-and-answer
method to promote different aspects of learning. It also included
representations, power point slides, pictures, demonstrations as well as
simulations used. It also included diagrams to explain the concept of magnetic
flux, the existence of two opposing magnetic fields when the magnet is moved
relative to the conductor and a method of determining the directions of the
changing magnetic field, induced current and magnetic field induced by the
current.

These
strategies were selected based on the knowledge that I had about the topic, the
learners as well as the context from which this topic would be taught. The
choice of the strategies discussed was based on the knowledge that I had
developed when learning the content of EMI through means of a concept map. I
also had to take into consideration what would work for my learners to develop
conceptual understanding of the topic. The problem-solving strategies were
based on learners’ challenges that needed to be addressed in order for them to
understand the topic as well as to improve on other skills that they were still
lacking from the previous topics.

In
the original CoRe assessment strategies was also included, but excluded in the
final CoRe as assessing learners would broaden the scope of this presented
study.

In
the final CoRe both the explanations and elaborations are more detailed
compared to the CoRe completed during the planning phase of the presented
study. This also implies a keener awareness about student’s understandings and
therefore displays an interrelationship with other components of PCK, namely Knowledge of students as well as Subject matter representations. It can
therefore be concluded that the different domains of PCK would indirectly
influence each other.

(iv)       Subject
matter representations

The
CoRe also revealed the subject matter representations that I intended to use
when presenting the topic. These included textual and visual representations.
Textual representations involved textbooks from which some of the knowledge
would have to be retrieved such as definitions the learners would have to
learn, diagrams that depicted some of the devices that are used in EMI and the
equations needed in order to solve EMI problems. The visual representations
involved the power point representations, simulations and diagrams. The laboratory
equipment that would be used in practical activities also represented subject
matter representations as these would be used to better explain the topic.

In
the final CoRe both the explanations and elaborations are more detailed
compared to the CoRe completed during the planning phase of the presented
study. This also implies a keener awareness about the subject matter per se.

 

            12.2.5  Conclusion

The
final dissemination of the CoRe entailed the identification of key ideas with
an analysis that includes the justification of the chosen three Big Ideas, any difficulties that
students may encounter in learning these Big
Ideas, related misconceptions students may hold as well as appropriate
instructional sequences and strategies in achieving the intended learning
outcomes.

 To thoroughly complete a CoRe requires a
comprehensive familiarization and comprehension of the content to be taught,
the sources of this content as well as the rational for the content choice.

In
scaffolding the original CoRe into the final CoRe (Addendum D) enabled me to
re-familiarize and update my knowledge of current National Curriculum
Statements, qualification requirements, common electromagnetism misconceptions
and sources of appropriate instructional strategies, such as text and
electronic resources. The gathering and interpretation of the final CoRe and
comparing the final CoRe with the original CoRe in an attempt to identify signs
of emerging and developing TSPCK, greatly influenced my understanding of what
curricular content I needed to teach grade 11 electromagnetism.

The
whole act of researching, planning, creating, developing and scaffolding a
first attempted CoRe to a final CoRe has simultaneously deepened my own
knowledge of TSPCK and has created awareness that a teacher specialist build
their PCK over time as it constantly evolves and accumulates.

In analysing the comparisons of the two
constructed CoRes, it is confirmed that the CoRe can be used as a planned and
strategic approach in science education as it raises awareness of the
components that serve as the building blocks for developing both novice and
expert teacher’s PCK (Mavhunga’s model in Mavhunga, et al., 2013). It also results in appreciating both the thinking
and experience required to develop one’s PCK.

 

As a tool for developing these components
of PCK, the design of a CoRe is not an easy task. However, if carefully
scaffolded and articulated, the process of designing a CoRe would enable a
teacher to access and to accumulate some of the knowledge of more experienced
science teachers in ways that can help foster feelings of confidence and
competence in presenting the subject matter to their students.

 

Clearly a lack of differentiated
classroom practices as well as instructional strategies and subject knowledge
emerged to be a limiting factor, but the analysis of the CoRe clearly indicate
that its future use in differentiated topics would foster such growth. As a
life-long learner, I am optimistic that this process of CoRe design will have
positive and lasting effects of my future TSPCK development.

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