Assessing Subject Matter Knowledge of Science Teachers

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Assessing Subject Matter Knowledge of Science Teachers

In Thailand, the Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC) has launched a policy for assessing teachers’, subject matter knowledge since 2009. This policy required in-serviceteachers from 185 educational service areas took an examination which related to their teaching ,subjects. For assessing science and mathematics teachers’, knowledge, the Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology (IPST) was assigned to develop instruments and analyzing testing results. This paper reported only subject matter knowledge (SMK) of lower ,secondary science teachers. Participating teachers took a science test for two hours. The test consisted of 90 selected-response items covered 8 content areas of science curriculum. Teachers’, SMK scores were analyzed to determine levels of science competency, and to identify participating teachers into 3 groups: master, intermediate, and beginner. Percents of teachers in each group were 8.8, 81.1, and 10.1, respectively. A multiple regression analysis was employed to examinerelationships between teachers’, ages, gender, teaching experience in science, teacher qualification, and teachers’, SMK. Results indicated that most of participants had bachelor degrees in science or science education. The average score of those teachers was higher than teachers who had bachelor degrees in other majors. Findings also showed a positive significant relationship between their ,teaching experience and teachers’, SMK.

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