Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education

Developing and Validating Assessments to Measure and Build Elementary Teachers' Content Knowledge for Teaching about Matter and Its Interactions within Teacher Education Settings

Both scientists and teachers need to understand science deeply; however, unlike scientists, teachers need specialized content knowledge to do the work of teaching science—things like linking instructional activities to particular concepts or learning goals, identifying demonstrations or representations that most powerfully illustrate particular ideas, and anticipating concepts that might be particularly challenging for students. This is referred to as content knowledge for teaching (CKT). This project, funded by the National Science Foundation Discovery Research K12 (DRK12) program, is a collaboration between Western and Educational Testing Service (ETS). As ETS works to develop ways to assess teachers’ CKT, Western is working to identify ways that teacher educators can support the development of this knowledge across different course contexts. The project will facilitate the development of a proof-of-concept to determine whether and how CKT assessments can be developed and used to measure and build elementary teachers’ CKT. Additionally, it will facilitate the rapid and targeted refinement of an evidence-centered design process that could be applied to other topics.


PIs: Debi Hanuscin (WWU) and Jamie Mikeska(ETS)