Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Lisa Kenyon (Advisor), Thomas Rooney (Committee Member), Melissa Schen (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


For teachers to effectively engage students in scientific modeling, they require pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) for this practice. This study examines how preservice elementary teachers develop PCK for scientific modeling when given modeling centered instruction in a science methods course. Our findings indicate preservice teachers made significant pedagogical gains in this practice, shifting from using models as static products to using them as thinking tools for students to develop science content knowledge. However, few viewed learning the practice of scientific modeling as an important learning goal. Preservice teachers also had difficulty translating the depth of their understandings into lesson designs, particularly in regard to model use, revision, and metamodeling knowledge. By highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of PCK for scientific modeling that develop within the context of specific instructional supports, this research suggests areas of focus and potential methods to improve preservice teacher education in modeling.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Biological Sciences

Year Degree Awarded


Included in

Biology Commons