The relationship b/w physics teachers’ subject content knowledge, awareness of students’ alternative conceptions & their teaching approaches to address students’ alternative conceptions of electric circuit concepts : A multiple case study from IBA-CCs of Sindh

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy in Education


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


This multiple case study explored the relationship between in-service physics teachers’ subject content knowledge, awareness of students’ alternative conceptions, and their teaching approaches in the context of IBA Community Colleges, Sindh. The purposeful sampling strategy was employed, five in-service physics teachers teaching at the college level were selected as sample of the study. The data was collected through semi-structured interviews, questionnaire-I, and questionnaire-II. Data analysis contained within and cross-case analysis by following the inductive and deductive approaches. The findings revealed that adequate subject content knowledge can contribute to the ways to address students' alternative conceptions that show adequate knowledge of content and teaching. However, adequate subject content knowledge does not necessarily influence a teacher to adopt innovative teaching strategies. The cross-case analysis revealed weak to adequate state of teachers’ subject content knowledge, and they were not very well aware of their students’ alternative conceptions. Furthermore, the awareness of most of the teachers about their students’ alternative conceptions was like their own alternative conceptions, content knowledge, and distractors. The research participants mainly showed the demonstration approach to address students’ alternative conceptions which revealed that teacher-centered approaches were dominant. Finally, the study concluded that the pedagogical content knowledge of teachers that includes both ‘knowledge of content and students’ and ‘knowledge of content and teaching’ requires adequate subject content knowledge of teachers as well as adequate experience of teaching.

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