A Reading Group for Science Educators: an Approach for Developing Personal and Collective Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Science Education

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Springer Nature
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Reading, at its core, is a basic yet critical way to undertake learning and growth. This paper shares a professional learning and development initiative for science educators, which was underpinned by the popularity and premise of the reading group. In moving from simply being a vehicle for targeted discussion, the reading group facilitators sought to support the participants in taking a deeper dive into their practice with the impact ultimately being changes to their personal pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) for science. This small-scale qualitative study was informed by the voices of three science educators at different stages and career trajectories, who participated in interviews. The data revealed that their participation in the reading group informed the development of their personal and collective PCK by (a) creating conditions that encouraged meaningful links to be made between theory and practice, (b) encouraging the adoption of an inquiry stance as a means for engaging purposively with professional knowledge, and (c) initiating a transformation in their contemporary understandings of science and science education. By drawing on the participants’ narratives, this study brings to the fore both the simplicity and depth of complexity that can be achieved through a reading group focused on professional learning and development. The implications of this research are wide reaching as the reading group as a concept can be applied to a variety of contexts and shaped to reach a variety of educational needs.
International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 2022