Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Chemistry/Chemistry Education Research

First Advisor

Hannah Sevian

Second Advisor

Michelle Foster

Third Advisor

Jonathan Rochford, Sharon Lynch


Research indicates that increased student interest in science and better learning outcomes result from teaching students the foundations of science knowledge (Vision I emphasis) as well as teaching students how to apply science knowledge in meaningful contexts (Vision II emphasis). However, Vision II emphasis is less common in the classroom, and efforts to increase its presence in practice have resulted in limited change. This multi-manuscript dissertation used a case study format to address three research questions related to growing the ability of chemistry teachers to enact practice aligned with Vision II: 1) How can chemistry teacher classroom emphasis along the Vision I/Vision II continuum be characterized; 2) How do teaching dilemmas impact the selection of beliefs into practice; and, 3) In what ways do knowledge, beliefs, and practices shift toward Vision II emphasis as a result of participation in a discipline-focused PD intervention that includes this shift as an implicit goal. A measurement tool (the PCEM) was created that allows classroom teachers, school administrators, and researchers to evaluate the amount of Vision I and Vision II practice in lessons quickly and easily, addressing the first research question. Results for the second research question indicated the presence of a conceptual dilemma that filtered out certain Vision II beliefs from enacted practice. This filtering effect constrained beliefs associated with the goals and objectives of stated emphasis, suggesting that dilemmas exert their effects on the selection of teaching beliefs that make up the goals and objectives component of Pedagogical Content Knowledge. Implications include the recommendation that designers of PD aiming to shift beliefs should account for the potential presence of dilemmas and draw teachers’ attention to them. Results for the third research question indicated that changes in knowledge and beliefs appeared earlier and more prominently than changes in practice. Changes in practice did appear, but were less pronounced than changes in beliefs. Despite the delay in appearance, changes in practice were found to align with the teacher’s present knowledge and beliefs. Implications included the importance of looking for change resulting from PD first in knowledge and beliefs and subsequently in classroom practice.


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