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Projekt Summary




Kickoff Meeting – IPN (Germany)



This meeting initiated our collaboration and focused on the driving question for this project, which is “How can teacher education experiences better prepare new science teachers to implement coherent science instruction?”

In preparation for this meeting, participants read the following seminal papers addressing instructional coherence:

  • Fortus, D., & Krajcik, J. (2012). Curriculum Coherence and Learning Progressions. In B. J. Fraser, K. Tobin, & C. J. McRobbie (Eds.), Second International Handbook of Science Education (pp. 783–798). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands. Retrieved from
  • Roseman, J. E., Linn, M. C., & Koppal, M. (2008). Characterizing Curriculum Coherence. In Y. Kali, J. E. Roseman, M. C. Linn, & M. Koppal (Eds.). New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
  • Sikorski, T.-R., & Hammer, D. (2017). Looking for coherence in science curriculum. Science Education.


Key outcomes and artifacts

A key outcome of this meeting was agreeing on the central characteristics of the term “instructional coherence” in science. These are:

  • Coherence for instruction, or instruction for coherence, promotes both horizontal and vertical connections between concepts
    • Students know how what they are doing today connects to a broader set of learning experiences.  Students have a sense of where they have been and where they are going in their learning. 
  • Focus is on students using scientific ideas to make sense of phenomena (powerful learning, knowledge in use)
  • Connects students’ learning in school to their out-of-school experiences
  • There are different layers of coherence, e.g., teacher support, assessment


Partner Workshop – Halmstad University (Sweden)



The primary focus of this meeting was on how technology can support coherent science instruction and how preservice teachers can be supported in developing Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge, or T-PACK. In this meeting, we focused on the question “How do models of teacher knowledge (e.g., pedagogical content knowledge, technological pedagogical content knowledge) inform the design of science teacher education that supports coherent science instruction in 21st century classrooms?”

In preparation for this meeting participants read the following papers regarding the use of technology in science teaching and how students can be supported in developing and using models:

  • Chittleborough, G. (2014). Learning How to Teach Chemistry with Technology: Pre-Service Teachers’ Experiences with Integrating Technology into Their Learning and Teaching. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 25(4), 373–393.
  • Schwarz, C. V., Reiser, B. J., Davis, E. A., Kenyon, L., Achér, A., Fortus, D., … Krajcik, J. (2009). Developing a learning progression for scientific modeling: Making scientific modeling accessible and meaningful for learners. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46(6), 632–654.
  • Tondeur, J., van Braak, J., Siddiq, F., & Scherer, R. (2016). Time for a new approach to prepare future teachers for educational technology use: Its meaning and measurement. Computers & Education, 94, 134–150.
  • Zhang, B., Liu, X., & Krajcik, J. S. (2006). Expert models and modeling processes associated with a computer-modeling tool. Science Education, 90(4), 579–604.



Key outcomes and artifacts

In this meeting, we recognized that digitalization is a key area of focus across all partner countries. We visited the Digital Learning Center at Halmstad University where we learned about ways to thoughtfully incorporate digitals tools to support coherent science instruction. These tools included probeware, advanced video editing tools, virtual reality glasses, 360-degree cameras, and mobile devices. A key focus was on how tools are most useful when they are a part of a broader coherent unit of study, that is, when the focus remains on the science learning and practices and the digital tools are used in support of that learning.

The appropriate use of digital tools in coherent instruction was further modeled during a presentation by Dr. Ibrahim Delen, who introduced the group to an online science modeling tool and discussed how it could be used. Here is a link to Dr. Delen’s presentation.

Key conclusions from this meeting included:

  • In order to build coherence between teacher education and the teacher induction phase, it is critical to engage municipalities.
    • At Halmstad, university people and municipality people were organizing and planning together. They did a concrete, artifact-based together to truly experience the process.
  • Digital Learning Center based at the university - what is the difference in using this in a real classroom in a school versus having a room only at the university?
    • It is important to try this out and to learn what works, what might not in practice
  • There is a substantial challenge in initiating collaborations between stakeholders (university, municipality, state) around supporting “future classroom” perspectives and practices
  • A critical discussion is about why to bring in technology to classrooms. Too often, there is pressure to include technology for its own sake.
  • Technology affords the opportunity to better support student in making connections across in-school and out-of-school contexts (e.g., learning at home, informal learning).


In this meeting, we also added to our existing working definition for the idea of instructional coherence in science to include:

  • Instructional coherence can be framed in terms of student education (school) and coherence in teacher education (university). Coherence in teacher education would mean the connection between theory (declarative knowledge; models of professional models) and practice (procedural knowledge; topic specific knowledge, performance).


Partner Workshop – University of Bergen (Norway)



The focus of this meeting was two-fold. First, we visited a teacher education course in chemistry education at the University of Bergen. The focus of this session was to support preservice teachers in developing and implementing meaningful science demonstrations as a part of a coherent instructional unit. Since a focus on phenomena is central to coherent instruction, the thoughtful incorporation of demonstrations that elicit student thinking and curiosity relative to natural phenomena is critical. A second focus this meeting was how partnerships with local organizations can support coherent instruction through exposing students to real-world phenomena and design challenges. We visited a local building with a solar cell installation and discussed with the solar cell array manager how he has partnered with schools in the past to explore issues relating to renewable energy sources.

To prepare for this meeting, participants read the following papers:

  • Windschitl, M., Thompson, J., Braaten, M., & Stroupe, D. (2012). Proposing a core set of instructional practices and tools for teachers of science. Science Education, 96(5), 878–903.
  • Zeichner, K. (2002). Beyond Traditional Structures of Student Teaching. Teacher Education Quarterly, 29(2), 59–64.
  • Zeichner, K. (2010). Rethinking the Connections Between Campus Courses and Field Experiences in College- and University-Based Teacher Education. Journal of Teacher Education, 61(1–2), 89–99.


Key artifacts and outcomes

In this meeting, we added to our understanding of the idea of instructional coherence, to include these ideas:

  • The phenomena, presented to the students, seems to be the crucial step in reaching coherence. It is important to analyze the phenomena before teaching, i.e. regarding the scientific concepts that are addressed or regarding its potential to ask scientific questions.
  • A scientific phenomena is a dynamic situation where students can observe an interaction between processes/variables/… This interaction causes a certain change that can be recorded/analyzed/investigated…
  • Phenomena at out of school sites are more complex. A phenomena might also refer to social sciences.


In addition, we took these key messages away from the meeting:

  • We need to consider how to work with science faculty, especially through university pedagogy departments, to bring university teaching in line the vision of coherent instruction
  • We need to consider how to promote new teachers to know how to identify and use local resources for out-of-school learning (e.g., local industry, environment, museums) within coherent instruction. This is key to including meaningful contexts.
  • An advanced organizer is helpful to help students to stay focused on the larger themes, big ideas, and to see progress toward them. They can take many forms, such as hierarchical or cyclical.
  • Another job for us as science educators: Development of a visual representation of the aspects of coherent instruction that we have been discussing. Preservice teachers should know scientific phenomena, but for most they need to know how to analyze phenomena and how to base they plans on their analysis; a next step is thinking about how to deal with students questions.


Partner Workshop – University of Copenhagen (Denmark)


The focus of this meeting was to begin the development of a model for coherence structured on the research and experiences from successive partner institutions. At Copenhagen we attempted to add to this evolving model by visiting a high school and a university science teaching preparation class, where we talked to teachers, an administrator and university students.

To prepare for this meeting, participants read the following papers:

Supporting Literature from past PICoSTE meetings to reread for CPH

  • Windschitl, M., Thompson, J., Braaten, M., & Stroupe, D. (2012). Proposing a core set of instructional practices and tools for teachers of science. Science Education96(5), 878–903.
  • Zeichner, K. (2002). Beyond Traditional Structures of Student Teaching. Teacher Education Quarterly29(2), 59–64.
  • Zeichner, K. (2010). Rethinking the Connections Between Campus Courses and Field Experiences in College- and University-Based Teacher Education. Journal of Teacher Education61(1–2), 89–99.
  • Sikorski, T. R., & Hammer, D. (2017). Looking for coherence in science curriculum. Science Education, 101(6), 929-943.Chittleborough (aligning IT with schools)
  • Hutner, T. L., & Markman, A. B. (2017). Applying a goal‐driven model of science teacher cognition to the resolution of two anomalies in research on the relationship between science teacher education and classroom practice. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 54(6), 713-736


New Supporting literature for CPH

  • Biggs, J. B., & Tang, C. (2011). Constructively aligned teaching and assessment In. Teaching for quality learning at University, 95-104.
  • Bybee, R. W., Taylor, J. A., Gardner, A., Van Scotter, P., Powell, J. C., Westbrook, A., & Landes, N. (2006). The BSCS 5E instructional model: Origins and effectiveness. Colorado Springs, Co: BSCS, 5, 88-98.


Key artifacts and outcomes

In this meeting, we added to our understanding of the idea of instructional coherence, to include these ideas:

  • We started a conceptual map based on our readings and experiences so far. Our starting map looks like the one on the next page. We visited the high school where PICoSTE participant Birgit Justesen teaches. Morten Perrson another PICoSTE participating teacher joined us and we talked to them as well as a science teacher who has experienced the UCPH teaching courses, and a school administrator with development as part of his assignment. Our goal was to understand the Danish system of teacher preparation and begin to see what coherence it brings to new and experienced teachers.
  • We also visited a current science teaching course at the UCPH with Lene Madsen teaching a lesson. We had small group discussions with the students in the class.
  • A former student of the UCPH teacher education courses presented his recent research about the coherence of the program with the realities teachers encounter in the high schools.
  • We met to plan to submit a symposium to the Bologna ESERA conference. We discussed roles for each of our members, some based on a questionnaire the Finnish group will share.
  • We discussed modifications of the model which may be continued in ESSEN.
  • Ibrahim joined us via SYYPE the second morning.

We took these key messages away from the meeting:

  • We may want to evolve a model for coherence structured on the research we are reading and populated with the successful elements of coherence we are finding in each partner’s science teacher preparation programs.
  • We will develop and share our research-based model at the Bologna ESERA conference. The meeting in ESSEN in November will give us an opportunity to finish our proposal before the January due date.
  • We will actively begin a proposal for a succeeding project based on PICoSTE results. Our first task for ESSEN is to discover funding sources, both national and international to which we can apply.




Partner Workshop – University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany)


The workshop at the University of Duisburg-Essen had a strong focus on coherence in science teacher education programmes at university. The main aspect was the coherence between the knowledge the pre-service teachers learn at university and the knowledge they need for realizing teaching and learning in class. The second focus of the meeting was the coherence between different phases of teacher education. Regarding this focus, the main aspect was the (pre-service) teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge and their beliefs and how both develop and change over time.


In preparation for this meeting, participants read the following papers addressing pre-service teachers shift from teacher education to classroom practice:

Blömeke, S., Gustafsson, J.-E., & Shavelson, R. J. (2015). Beyond dichotomies: Competence viewed as a continuum. Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 223(1), 3–13.

Hutner, T. L., & Markman, A. B. (2017). Applying a goal‐driven model of science teacher cognition to the resolution of two anomalies in research on the relationship between science teacher education and classroom practice. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 54(6), 713-736


Key outcomes and artifacts

In the diagram:

  • The three triangles represent our understanding of the processes that support coherente science instruction that is realized in the school context.
  • One process is the curriculum content alignment, the other one the teacher course alignment. Both are related to the school context/reality that also influences both alignments. For both alignments standards/objectives are needed as well as appropiate teaching methods to reach these goals. Besides, the perspective of the development and/or assessment is important when talking about alignment.




the first photo shows the PICoSTE group when having the workshop, the second photo shows the group attending a course for prospective chemistry teachers


PICOSTE meeting in Helsinki 12 and 13.3 .

The meeting participants arrived to Helsinki around afternoon 11.3.2019. Accommodation was in Töölö Towers (Pohjoinen Hesperiankatu 23 A. The Get together dinner was organized in close Restaurant. During the dinner, the program was discussed and topics related to it.


Tuesday 12.3. University teacher training school, Helsingin normaalilyseo, Ratakatu 6, Room B204

9.00 Introduction to school (principle Tuula Siren)

Principal Siren introduced Finnish teacher training school tradition and history of the school. The school was established in 1867. Moreover, supervision practices, school leadership activities and research and development work were introduced.

9.15 – 11.30 “teacher education and curriculum thinking in Finland (introduction and discussion)

Lavonen introduced Finnish education practices. One interesting characteristics of Finnish education policy and implementation of the policy is collaborative design of national and local level strategies, development programmes and curriculum. They are planned collaboratively in partnership with Teacher Union, Ministry of Education, universities and providers of education (typically municipalities), and several other stakeholders such as learning material publishers and parental organizations. The planning of strategies, programs and curriculum start typically with the recognizing of the challenges and needs at classroom, school, municipality level, and national level. The general aims are agreed in consensus and these aims are discussed at the local level and modified and the implemented in the local context. After agreeing the aims, resources from the state and municipality budget are made available for the piloting and implementation of the aims. Three current teacher education programs and curriculum were introduced in detail and discussed. During the presentation, there was a lot of discussion.

11.30 – 12.30 Lunch in school restaurant

During the school lunch the participants were familiarizing with one long term tradition in Finnish education, the free school lunch. After the lunch the participants familiarize to the school building and pedagogy in the school.

12.30 – 13.00 Introduction to practice lesson (24 students, last year in comprehensive school, Physics, Newtonian mechanics) 

Student teacher who were acting teacher in the lesson and mentor of the student teacher introduced the lesson aims and project-based approach in the lesson. The lesson aims were discussed from the coherence science teaching point of view.

13.05 – 14.20 Student teacher’s lesson

A lesson at 9th grade was followed. During the lesson the students were investigating movement and modelling the phenomena. Data was captured by video and by ultrasonic sensor. The participants were walking around and observing and discussing with students.

14.20 – 15.00 coffee and reflection of the practice lesson with student(s) teacher and mentor teacher 

Mentor teacher and student teacher demonstrated reflective discussion. The participants observed reflection. After the reflective discussion, the participants discussed with the mentor and student teacher. Several questions were asked about reflection, lesson aims, scientific practices and coherence in teacher education.

15.00 – 17.00 Reflection of the day based on the papers 

The selected two papers were discussed. Especially the paper focusing to supervision and models in supervision was analysed and discussed carefully.

  • Peter Hudson (2016) Forming the Mentor-Mentee Relationship, Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 24:1, 30-43, DOI: 10.1080/13611267.2016.1163637
  • Esther T. Canrinus, Ole Kristian Bergem, Kirsti Klette & Karen Hammerness (2017) Coherent teacher education programmes: taking a student perspective, Journal of Curriculum Studies, 49:3, 313-333, DOI: 10.1080/00220272.2015.1124145


Wednesday 13.3.  Location: Faculty of educational sciences, Siltavuorenpenger 5A, Minerva square room K K222.1

9.00 – 12.00 Jeff introduced the theoretical framework for understanding coherent science and science teacher education. The preliminary model was reviewed and revised in small groups. The groups presented the outcomes of the group work. Below is one example of the revised model.


Second topic was the preparation of the final report. The report was outlined and default reporting documents were discussed. It was discussed what are the key features to be included in the report.

Participant from Turkey joined the meeting via video call.

Finally a short discussion about the future plans was organized.