This chapter outlines some of the challenges in assessing teachers’ subject-matter knowledge. After reviewing traditional ways of mapping a domain, such as job analysis…
This chapter outlines some of the challenges in assessing teachers’ subject-matter knowledge. After reviewing traditional ways of mapping a domain, such as job analysis and “wisdom of practice,” the author alights on the two constructs, depth and breadth, that have come to define how teachers’ subject-matter knowledge is conceptualized. He argues that these two constructs constitute an impoverished vocabulary that misrepresents the complexity of the subject-matter knowledge teachers most need for effective instruction. He proposes an expanded set of constructs – differentiation and elaboration, qualification, integration, generativity, and epistemological knowledge – that better approximate the complexity of a subject-matter domain and serve as a better guide for creating an assessment system.
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of generation in teachers’ advice and information-seeking interactions in Flemish secondary school teams, and moreover…
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of generation in teachers’ advice and information-seeking interactions in Flemish secondary school teams, and moreover how the content of advice shapes these interactions. Four content-related advice and information-seeking networks are investigated in this study: subject-matter knowledge, classroom management, innovative teaching methods and ICT.
Data were collected from 660 teachers in ten secondary education schools in Flanders (Belgium) by using an online socio-metric survey. Social network analysis was conducted, more specifically quadratic assignment procedure and multilevel P2 modeling.
The findings underline the importance of investigating content-related advice networks. Generation affects the formation of interactions. First, the results revealed that older teachers are less likely to ask advice on subject-matter knowledge, classroom management and innovative teaching methods. Second, the data showed that older teachers are more likely to be asked for advice on subject-matter knowledge. Third, young teachers are more likely to be asked for advice on innovative teaching methods and ICT. Fourth, homophily effects occurred for the youngest teachers when advice is about subject-matter knowledge, and for the oldest teachers for advice about classroom management.
This study is innovative due to its application of social network analysis to investigate intergenerational knowledge flows, and due to its clear focus on content-related advice-seeking interactions that go beyond the approach of general advice and information-seeking interactions.
This chapter briefly reviews the research related to the construct of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) over the past 25 years. Despite the remarkable implications of…
This chapter briefly reviews the research related to the construct of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) over the past 25 years. Despite the remarkable implications of the PCK conceptualization, questions remain concerning the vagueness of the construct and the studies conducted on the PCK research line, questions which may lead to new developments in defining the nature of the conceptualization, its validity, and its utility. However, agreement exists concerning the need to portray specific cases of PCK of successful teaching. The work argues for a need to develop models of teacher learning and professional development that are subject matter specific. The chapter ends with a call for basing professional development on the conceptualization of PCK.
Within this chapter, I use my early experiences as a special education teacher to story and restory how Othering shapes the lives of special education teachers and their…
Within this chapter, I use my early experiences as a special education teacher to story and restory how Othering shapes the lives of special education teachers and their students. The disability-as-deficit model labels those students who receive special education services as less than, as outside the norm, as Other. The stories of my early teaching career offer insight into this Othering and link special education subject matter knowledge with my identity as a sibling of an individual with Down syndrome that fuels my teacher knowledge. Clandinin and Connelly’s three-dimensional narrative inquiry space provides a framework to examine the back-and-forth intersections of sibling and special educator knowledge. An autoethnographic exploration results in a critically reflexive narrative that exposes overlapping pieces of Othered identities, and explains how my teacher knowledge situates me differently than my special educator colleagues. The three-dimensional narrative inquiry space also provides the necessary tension between subject matter knowledge and teacher knowledge to create a dialogue of Othering between special education teacher and student. This dialogue pushes the idea of Least Restrictive Environments within social-personal space, and can lead to multiple Othered voices speaking as powerful bridges to span the divide between general and special education, the norm and the Other.
To explore how student teachers (re)construct their professional identities, this chapter contextualizes two student teachers’ practicum experiences in China. The…
To explore how student teachers (re)construct their professional identities, this chapter contextualizes two student teachers’ practicum experiences in China. The overarching question is how the student teachers (re)construct their professional identities in the practicums, especially where their teacher knowledge and subject matter knowledge meet. By analyzing a flexible matrix of paired stories, the research highlights the collective influences of the multiple instructional contexts: nation-wide Free Teacher Education program policy, recent national curriculum reform in China, and the characteristics of the placement schools. The chapter finds that the student teachers’ professional identities are dynamic and evolving on the professional knowledge landscape. The (re)construction of professional identities involves developing practical knowledge and metaphors by negotiating the tensions the student teachers encountered in the practicums. Meanwhile, the student teachers experienced reflective turns (Schön, 1991) in the practicums, which caused the tension between teacher knowledge and subject matter knowledge and contributed to the formation of their professional identities.
Policymakers have focused on improving STEM outcomes for US high school students for over 50 years. Much of this focus has centered on improving the quality of STEM…
Policymakers have focused on improving STEM outcomes for US high school students for over 50 years. Much of this focus has centered on improving the quality of STEM teachers, particularly in poor and minority schools. Few, if any, of these efforts have considered the importance of the content knowledge of those providing instructional leadership in schools – namely, principals and assistant principals. This chapter examines the percentage of school leaders with teacher certification in mathematics or science and the degree to which teacher and school leader turnover interrupts the leadership–teacher relationships. The study concludes relatively few school leaders have the content knowledge to provide deep instructional leadership. Moreover, the study finds combined teacher and school leader turnover greatly diminishes the sustained relationships between instructional leaders and teachers, particularly in lower-performing schools.
Through this exploration of subject matter knowledge and teacher knowledge, we present two stories of teaching social studies in the sixth grade. Using a narrative inquiry…
Through this exploration of subject matter knowledge and teacher knowledge, we present two stories of teaching social studies in the sixth grade. Using a narrative inquiry approach, we share the complexities and complications of teaching children content within standards related to world history and religions. We call on the writings of Schwab to consider these experiences. Using Schwab’s concepts of deliberation, the balanced negotiation between the commonplaces of curriculum in a meaning-making process, first, exposes tensions and the teacher’s acts of negotiating between the learners’ needs and the subject matter (the standards). The teacher stretches to meet the requirements of the standards in different ways that take care of herself and her students. Schwab’s commonplaces are used in a more straightforward exploration of the second story. The interplay between the commonplaces is less nuanced and less deeply understood, coalescing in tensions between the commonplaces. The stories and our analyses illustrate Schwab’s assertion that there is no right alternative. Daily, and moment-to-moment, teachers are in the position of deliberating – making the best choice of many alternatives. “Ramifying consequences must be traced to all parts of the curriculum” (Schwab, 1978, p. 319). Schwab, we find, counsels that the consequences of a chosen action must be considered by all those who must live with those consequences.
Teachers’ continuing professional development (CPD) should improve teacher quality and teaching practices, though teachers vary in the extent to which they participate in…
Teachers’ continuing professional development (CPD) should improve teacher quality and teaching practices, though teachers vary in the extent to which they participate in CPD activities. Because beliefs influence working and learning, and teachers’ beliefs about learning and teaching influence their instructional decisions, this study aims to explore the link between teachers’ beliefs about learning and teaching and their participation in CPD.
This study features two belief dimensions (student and subject matter orientation) and three types of CPD activities (updating, reflective, and collaborative). Survey data from 260 Dutch secondary school teachers were collected and analyzed using structural equation modeling.
Student‐oriented beliefs relate positively to teachers’ participation in CPD: the more student‐oriented teachers are, the more they participate in CPD. No relationship emerges between subject matter–oriented beliefs and CPD.
To intensify teachers’ participation in CPD and thereby improve teacher quality and teaching practices, schools should emphasize a student orientation among their teachers.
The original empirical study examines the relationship between teachers’ beliefs about learning and teaching and their participation in CPD and thus furthers understanding of factors that influence teachers’ participation in CPD.
In this chapter, three educators recount experiences of professional development from different perspectives in order to examine the intersection of teacher knowledge and…
In this chapter, three educators recount experiences of professional development from different perspectives in order to examine the intersection of teacher knowledge and subject matter in the areas of science and mathematics education. Professional development projects are productive avenues for exploring this phenomenon. We share stories of experience from professional develop projects of teachers who were situated in different places on the professional knowledge landscape: one elementary school teacher, one teacher educator, and one mathematics educator. From these various vantage points, the relationship between mathematics and science content knowledge and teacher knowledge holds different complexities and complications. Issues related to balancing teacher knowledge with content knowledge in professional development emerge. Based on the stories of experience and the analysis of the narratives, deliberation of curriculum is seen to be a valuable concept when engaging in professional development with teachers. Further, Pragmatic Intellectual Space is proposed for productive approaches to professional development.