Schneider & Krajcik (2002)

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Supporting Science Teacher Learning: The Role of Educative Curriculum Materials

The article Supporting Science Teacher Learning: The Role of Educative Curriculum Materials was written by Rebecca Schneider and Joseph Krajcik in 2002 and published in The Journal of Science Teacher Education. It is available from SpringerLink at


This article does not have an abstract.

Outline of Headings

  • Introduction
  • Theoretical Framework
    • Designing Educative Materials
    • Our Questions
  • Methods
    • Background
    • Educative Features of the Materials
    • Teacher Work Sessions
    • Data Collection
    • Data Reduction
    • Data Analysis
  • Findings
    • Individual Teachers
    • Teachers' Use of Educative Materials
    • Teachers' Content Knowledge
    • Teachers' Pedagogical Knowledge
    • Teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge
  • Discussion


Schneider and Krajcik argue that if teachers need support to successfully carry out educational reforms. One needed support is educative curriculum materials — curriculum designed around both teacher and student learning (Ball & Cohen, 1996). Taking a social constructivist (Blumenfeld, Marx, Patrick, & Krajcik, 1996; Krajcik, Blumenfeld, Marx, Soloway, 1999) view of project-based science, the researchers developed curriculum materials for the study to represent the ideals of project-based science. They were also designed to be educative for teachers (Ball & Cohen, 1996) by persistently supporting teachers throughout the duration of their use in both planning and enactment, with a goal of situating teacher learning in classroom contexts (Borko & Putnam, 1996; Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989). Educative curriculum materials need to do more than give teachers directions (Franke, Carpenter, Levi, & Fennema, 1998; White & Frederiksen, 1998) and need to support teacher learning and decision making aligned with student abilities and needs, the needs of the community, and implications for future learning (Ball & Cohen, 1996).

Citing studies concerning the transtion from novice to expert science teaching (Tschannen-Moran, Hoy, & Hoy, 1998; Carter, 1990; Borko, Bellamy, & Sanders, 1992; Borko & Livingston, 1989; Clermont, Borko, & Krajcik, 1994), Schneider & Krajcik consider Shulman's (1986, 1987) framework of content, pedagogical, and pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), all three of which are required of teachers in planning lessons. Teachers might gain knowledge in these areas through rich narratives of practice, either presented as cases or from their own experiences (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989; Guskey, 1986; Pajeres, 1992). Although the narratives are not always real, teachers strongly believe they learn by doing (Borko & Mayfield, 1995; Fenstermacher, 1994; Richardson, 1990). Therefore, Schneider and Krajcik used five design principles for their educative curriculum (p. 224):

  • Address each area of knowledge necessary for exemplary practices — content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and PCK
  • Situate teacher learning by meshing the content of the support to lessons for students
  • Link different knowledge areas within lessons
  • Make knowledge accessible to teachers through short scenarios or models of actual practice
  • Address immediate needs for understanding as teachers plan for lessons soon to be enacted

These principles resulted in content explanations, unit overviews, enactment scenarios, assessment supports, and teacher strategy notes. At the time these materials created, only the elementary mathematics materials Investigations in Numbers, Data, and Space from TERC (1995) claimed to have developed similarly educative materials.



Schneider, R. M., & Krajcik, J. (2002). Supporting science teacher learning: The role of educative curriculum materials. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 13(3), 221–245. doi:10.1023/A:1016569117024


author = {Schneider, Rebecca M. and Krajcik, Joseph},
doi = {10.1023/A:1016569117024},
journal = {Journal of Science Teacher Education},
number = {3},
pages = {221--245},
title = {{Supporting science teacher learning: The role of educative curriculum materials}},
url = {\%2FA\%3A1016569117024},
volume = {13},
year = {2002}