Academic journal article Journal of Teacher Education

Preservice Teachers' Professional Knowledge and Its Relation to Academic Self-Concept

Academic journal article Journal of Teacher Education

Preservice Teachers' Professional Knowledge and Its Relation to Academic Self-Concept

Article excerpt

Current models of teachers' professional competence point out the importance of motivation and professional educational knowledge, besides self-regulatory aspects (Baumert & Kunter, 2006,2011; Shulman, 1986). Motivational aspects are especially important for the quality and persistence of teachers' behavior (Pintrich, 2003). Teacher self-concept has been shown to be a significant predictor for the implementation of new instructional practices (Guskey, 1988), symptoms of burnout (Friedman & Farber, 1992; Villa & Calvete, 2001), resistance to stress (Flughes, 1987), sense of personal accomplishment (Hughes, 1987), and even students' cognitive growth (Aspy & Buhler, 1975). Research on students classifies self-concept as a highly important and influential predictor for various cognitive, emotional, and behavioral outcomes such as anxiety, performance, or self-worth (Marsh & Martin, 2011). In particular, self-concept seems to be strongly related to academic achievement. As research on the reciprocal effects model (Marsh & Craven, 2006; Retelsdorf, Roller, & Moller, 2014) shows, on one hand, self-concept impacts on achievement, and on the other hand, self-concept is based on students' achievement. Although adequate research has been done on students' academic self-concepts, teachers' professional self-concept has not received much attention in previous research. Therefore, we aim to investigate whether the central domains of professional knowledge are reflected in the academic self-concept of preservice teachers. Based on Shulman's presidential address at the 1985 American Educational Research Association meeting, these domains of professional knowledge are content knowledge (CK), pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), and pedagogical knowledge (PK; Shulman, 1986).

Background

Domains of Teachers' Professional Knowledge

The central part of teacher education at universities is to build a solid basis of professional teacher knowledge. This knowledge can be divided into CK, PCK, and PK (Shulman, 1986). CK can be defined as knowledge of the subject to be taught (Grossman, Schoenfeld, & Lee, 2005). Although research has elucidated that CK is a central precondition for teaching (Ball, Lubienski, & Mewborn, 2001; Grossman et al., 2005), it has also been revealed that CK itself is not sufficient to improve either effective teaching or the learning progress of students (Abell, 2007; Baumert et al., 2010). In addition, it shows that teachers lack CK very often (e.g., Even, 1993; Schmidt, Blomeke, & Tatto, 2011; Schmidt et al., 2007; Tatto et al., 2012). The second domain of content-related knowledge, which is important for effective teaching, is the PCK. Based on Shulman's (1987) initial definition, PCK forms an "amalgam of content and pedagogy" (p. 8). It is the type of knowledge that makes the subject matter comprehensible for students (Shulman, 1986). Scholars typically differentiate between at least two facets of PCK, namely (a) knowledge of students' conceptions and preconceptions and (b) knowledge of instructional strategies, which integrate the representation of subject matter and responses to specific learning difficulties (GroBschedl, Harms, Kleickmann, & Glowinski, 2015; Hill, Ball, & Schilling, 2008; Lee & Luft, 2008). Other researchers also include knowledge of curriculum and knowledge of assessment (e.g., Magnusson, Krajcik, & Borko, 1999). In contrast to CK and PCK, PK transcends the subject matter (e.g., Shulman, 1986, 1987). PK can be defined as knowledge of the "broad principles and strategies of classroom management and organization" (Shulman, 1987, p. 8). Recently, Voss, Kunter, and Baumert (2011) extended Shulman's original definition of PK into pedagogical/psychological knowledge (PPK), by including psychological aspects relating to the classroom and the heterogeneity of individual students. In a sample of mathematics teachers, Voss, Kunter, Seiz, Hoehne, and Baumert (2014) showed a positive relation between PPK and the quality of classroom instruction. …

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