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Science teachers’ professional competencies related to scientific reasoning

Scientific reasoning competencies (SRC) are defined in this project as the disposition to solve a scientific problem in a specific situation by applying a set of scientific skills and knowledge. SRC are also viewed as a core element of 21st-century skills in curricula. They are assumed to help enable democratic participation in science- and technology-based societies and indicate one dimension of a society’s future economic competitiveness.

For teachers to be able to promote SRC among their students, they need to have strong SRC themselves. Furthermore, science teachers need to develop pedagogical content knowledge related to scientific reasoning to be able to develop appropriate lessons and scaffold student learning. Furthermore, teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs have been proposed as an essential element of teachers’ professional competencies, influencing and guiding teachers’ practices.

The context of the present study is the first phase of science teacher education, which takes place at university.

The present study investigates pre-service teachers’ SRC and their relationship to respective pedagogical content knowledge and self-efficacy beliefs. More specifically, this study will adapt and pilot suitable assessment instruments and, by doing so, provide exploratory data on the relationship between the above-mentioned elements of pre-service science teachers’ professional competencies.

Project publications:

Krell, M., Dawborn-Gundlach, M. & van Driel, J. (2020). Scientific reasoning competencies in science teaching. Teaching Science, 66, 32-42.

Krell, M., Mathesius, S., van Driel, J., Vergara, C. & Krüger, D. (2020). Assessing scientific reasoning competencies of pre-service science teachers: Translating a German multiple-choice instrument into English and Spanish. International Journal of Science Education. doi:10.1080/09500693.2020.1837989                             

Krell, M., Redman, C., Mathesius, S., Krüger, D., & van Driel, J. (2020). Assessing pre-service science teachers’ scientific reasoning competencies. Research in Science Education, 50, 2305-2329.