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One method of addressing the shortage of science and mathematics teachers is to train scientists and other science-related professionals to become teachers. Advocates argue that these career changers as discipline experts can relate the subject matter knowledge to various contexts and applications. In this paper, through interviews with a former scientist and her students, we examine how one career changer used her expertise in microbiology to teach microscopy. These interviews provided the basis for a description of the teacher’s instruction which was then analysed for components of domain knowledge for teaching. Consistent with the literature, the findings revealed that this career changer needed to develop her pedagogical knowledge. However, an interesting finding was that the teacher’s subject matter as a science teacher differed substantively from her knowledge as a scientist. This finding challenges the assumption that subject matter is transferable across professions and provides insight into how to better support career changers to transition from scientist to science teacher.

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Open Access Conference Paper

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Open Access