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Förtsch, Christian; Werner, Sonja; Kotzebue, Lena von and Neuhaus, Birgit J. (2016): Effects of biology teachers' professional knowledge and cognitive activation on students' achievement. In: International Journal of Science Education, Vol. 38, No. 17: pp. 2642-2666

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This study examined the effects of teachers' biology-specific dimensions of professional knowledge - pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and content knowledge (CK) - and cognitively activating biology instruction, as a feature of instructional quality, on students' learning. The sample comprised 39 German secondary school teachers whose lessons on the topic neurobiology were videotaped twice. Teachers' instruction was coded with regard to cognitive activation using a rating manual. Multilevel path analysis results showed a positive significant effect of cognitive activation on students' learning and an indirect effect of teachers' PCK on students' learning mediated through cognitive activation. These findings highlight the importance of PCK in preservice biology teachers' education. Items of the rating manual may be used to provide exemplars of concrete teaching situations during university seminars for preservice teacher education or professional development initiatives for in-service teachers.

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