Exploring biology teachers' content knowledge in the concepts of secondary school biology across private and public schools : A study from Gilgit

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


This study focused on secondary school biology teachers’ content knowledge in the selected concepts of Biology across private and public schools of Gilgit. Furthermore, it aimed to find out the Biology Achievement Test (BAT) items which were attempted frequently incorrect by the teachers to indicate the difficulty at item level. Cross-sectional survey design was employed. Teachers had been assessed using 35 items consisted questionnaire; BAT, which was adopted from previous research studies (Ahmad, 2013) and found to be reliable (α = 0.70) for the current study sample. BAT was directly administered on 140 biology teachers of private (n=69) and public (n=71) sectors across Gilgit district, Gilgit-Baltistan. Results revealed that the teachers’ performed above average (62%). On average, participants scored higher in MCQs, Life Processes (67%) and Knowledge (69%). Comparison revealed that private school teachers scored significantly higher (p<0.01) than their public school counterparts with small effect size (r=-0.24). The study reported significantly better performance of private school teachers in MCQs (p<0.01; r= -0.19) and CRQs (p<0.01; r= -0.23) than the public school teachers’ counterparts with small effect size. Similarly, the private school teachers performed significantly better in Life Processes (p<0.01; r= 0.25), and Cell Biology (p<0.01; r= 0.29) with small effect size. Likewise, the private school biology teachers scored significantly higher in knowledge (p<0.01; r= -0.20) and application (p<0.01; r= 0.25), than the public school teachers with small effect size. Among 35 BAT items, only two were found to be “difficult” due to various reasons. The study concludes that teachers have lack of content knowledge, critical thinking skills, and data analysis skills which are the important components of teaching and learning processes. These factors may lead teachers to propagate misconception to their students. Therefore, it is necessary to address these issues in professional development courses to enhance content and pedagogy of biology. Consequently, the conceptual knowledge of the students will also improve.

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