Pedagogical Content Knowledge: How do Pre-service Teachers Adapt and Employ it in their Teaching?

By Fadzilah Abd Rahman and Jon Scaife.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) is increasingly recognized as an essential component in assessing pre-qualified teachers and in establishing ‘quality teaching’. PCK refers to an understanding of subject matter; an understanding of students: their abilities and interests and how they respond to diverse situations; an application of different teaching strategies; and how various types of classroom activity might be managed. Although PCK has come to be seen as important, details of its development, depth and quality among pre service teachers (PSTs) has remained something of mystery, as has the capability of PSTs to adapt and employ PCK in their actual teaching. As an effort to develop a coherent understanding of prospective teachers’ construction and application of PCK, this study is a reflection on two questions. First, to what extent are PSTs prepared in terms of PCK at the end of their teacher education programme and secondly, how do PSTs apply their PCK during their teaching practices? The paper illustrates the results of a study that involved a sample of 74 student teachers at a university in Malaysia. At the beginning of the study, each student teacher was given a questionnaire. Based on an analysis of the completed questionnaires, 11 of the pre service teachers were observed. Result indicate that, while their self-rating scores were good, they were still a little below the average in practices.

Keywords: Pre Service Teacher, Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Teacher Education

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 15, Issue 11, pp.221-228. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 583.851KB).

Dr. Fadzilah Abd Rahman

Lecturer, Department of Language and Humanities Education, University Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

Dr. F A Rahman Fadzilah is a lecturer in the area of Language Teaching Method, Educational Research, Assessment and Evaluation, and Curriculum Development at the Faculty of Educational Studies, University Putra Malaysia. She just completed her PhD in the field of Pedagogy in Teacher Education, particularly in assessing the nature of pedagogical content knowledge among pre service teachers, at School of Education, University of Sheffield. Her research interest is in the area of educational pedagogy; teacher education; and language education. She is currently doing research in Student Centered Learning Strategy, Teaching and Learning Instruction for Gifted Student and Language Literacy.

Dr. Jon Scaife

Lecturer, University of Sheffield, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK

Dr. Jon A. Scaife Jon has particular interests in constructivism, learning and the nature of knowledge. This work underpins his research activities in the relationship between learning and teaching, in Interpersonal Process Recall, and in the construction of rich learning environments. He is co-director of the University of Sheffield’s postgraduate certificate course in teaching and learning in higher education (PCHE). This course, which has recruited fully since its inception in 1996, is taken by selected doctoral students from all University disciplines who have a particular interest in becoming teachers in higher education. He has been the director of the Educational and Professional Studies course (EPS) in the School of Education’s Initial Teacher Education/ Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) programme since 1995. He has taught and tutored on this programme since 1988.


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