Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Effect of Content Knowledge on Pedagogical Content Knowledge: The Case of Teaching Phases of Matters

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Effect of Content Knowledge on Pedagogical Content Knowledge: The Case of Teaching Phases of Matters

Article excerpt


The aim of the present research was to investigate the effect of the amount and quality of content knowledge on pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). The chemical content of phases of matters was used as an example. The research sample consisted of 28 science student teachers. The lesson preparation task, content knowledge test and semi-structured interview were used to collect data. This study shows that science student teachers have basic knowledge, few misconceptions and certain inadequacies at conceptual level. Science student teachers had understanding difficulties about relationship between concepts affected by their previous experiences. It has been seen that most student teachers had consistent content knowledge. The results of this study emphasize that content knowledge had positive influence on pedagogical content knowledge. Content knowledge also influenced effective teaching practice.

Key Words

Content Knowledge, Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Phases of

Content knowledge is defined as "the concepts, principles, relationships, processes, and applications a student should know within a given academic subject, appropriate for his/her and organization of the knowledge." Pedagogy is the science of teaching, instruction and training. Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) was first introduced by Shulman (1986, 1987) and defined as teachers' ways of representing and formulating the subject-matter knowledge in the context of facilitating student learning.

Some researchers have argued that there is not always a sharp distinction between PCK and subject matter knowledge because subject matter knowledge functions as a source to be transformed for teaching (Tobin, Tippins, & Gallard, 1994). On the other hand, student-teachers having inaccurate and inadequate knowledge might transfer their own misconceptions to their students (Hashweh, 1987) and in this way add to students' conceptual difficulties (Even, 1993). Kaya (2008) showed that there was a significant interrelationship between the subject matter and pedagogical knowledge of the pre-service science teachers. Similarly, many researchers such as Halim and Meerah (2002), Van Driel, De Jong and Verloop (2002) concluded that content knowledge had influence on pedagogical content knowledge. However, content knowledge had no effect on pedagogical content knowledge according to Mapolelo (1999). The importance of content knowledge on pedagogical content knowledge is somewhat controversial and needs further study.

Teacher's thinking as one of the components of effective teaching in recent years has been the focus of the research studies reported by Lederman and Niess, 2001; Ritchie, 1999; Connelly, Clandinin and He, 1997; Clark and Peterson, 1986; Uflak, 2005; Nakibo¤lu 2005. Putnam (1987) and Borko, Livingstone and Shavelson (1990) stated that efficient teaching consists of packages of contents, goals and teaching methods.

Implemented teacher thinking in classroom interaction is the other type of teacher thinking. Marland & Osborne (1990) and Hogan, Rabinowitz & Craven (2003) concluded that this thinking during teaching concentrates more on students and ways to act rather than on the content. It has been seen that the teachers' thinking was compared in the same category of experience related to researches about student teachers' CK and PCK (Hogan 2003; Smith & Neale, 1989). Besides this, Hashweh (1987) and Gess-Newsome (1999) argued that experienced teachers have applied their knowledge to teaching easily since they had more constructed knowledge.

Research into CK and PCK related to chemistry topics has been taken place in the literature in recent years. For example, De Jong (2005) stated that most of the chemistry teaching master students had started to think deeper about students' understanding difficulties for particulate nature of matter after applying a special education related to PCK. …

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