Welter, Virginia Deborah Elaine ORCID: 0000-0002-1968-5551, Herzog, Stefanie ORCID: 0000-0003-1131-7129, Harms, Ute ORCID: 0000-0001-6284-9219, Steffensky, Mirjam ORCID: 0000-0002-7157-6088 and Grossschedl, Joerg (2022). School subjects' synergy and teacher knowledge: Do biology and chemistry teachers benefit equally from their second subject? J. Res. Sci. Teach., 59 (2). S. 285 - 327. HOBOKEN: WILEY. ISSN 1098-2736

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German preservice teachers always study two teaching subjects instead of only one. This offers an almost paradigmatic approach for the investigation of effects of specific subject combinations on professional competence. So far, few studies focused on potential beneficial effects or risks on preservice teachers' motivational orientations, beliefs, and professional knowledge. In our exploratory study, we chose a cross-sectional quasi-experimental design to compare preservice teachers studying a combination of biology and chemistry to those who study only one of these two subjects and any other, as it is expected that the differences between less similar subjects (such as chemistry and art) are greater than those between two science subjects. A total of N = 570 preservice teachers with a minimum of one of their subjects being biology or chemistry were recruited in 12 universities in Germany. Nonparametric analyses using Westenberg-Mood's median test show that preservice teachers studying both biology and chemistry score significantly different on some central aspects of professional competence compared to those who study only one of the two subjects and any other. However, advantages regarding motivational orientations and professional knowledge can only be found for the domain of biology, whereas in the domain of chemistry it does not seem to matter which second subject is studied beside chemistry. Furthermore, students taking both sciences show a significantly lower educational motivation and corresponding self-concept, suggesting that dual science students' teaching and learning beliefs are less education-focused than those of students combining one science with a social or language subject. Our findings regarding synergy effects of the dual study of different natural sciences on aspects of professional knowledge can be relevant beyond the specific German context, that is, they can help to supplement or restructure a university curriculum.

Item Type: Journal Article
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Welter, Virginia Deborah ElaineUNSPECIFIEDorcid.org/0000-0002-1968-5551UNSPECIFIED
Herzog, StefanieUNSPECIFIEDorcid.org/0000-0003-1131-7129UNSPECIFIED
Harms, UteUNSPECIFIEDorcid.org/0000-0001-6284-9219UNSPECIFIED
Steffensky, MirjamUNSPECIFIEDorcid.org/0000-0002-7157-6088UNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-580745
DOI: 10.1002/tea.21728
Journal or Publication Title: J. Res. Sci. Teach.
Volume: 59
Number: 2
Page Range: S. 285 - 327
Date: 2022
Publisher: WILEY
Place of Publication: HOBOKEN
ISSN: 1098-2736
Language: English
Faculty: Unspecified
Divisions: Unspecified
Subjects: no entry
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Education & Educational ResearchMultiple languages
URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/58074


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