Exploring the pedagogical content knowledge development of pre-service career change STEM teachers

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Teachers are expected to draw upon their pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) to teach their disciplinary content effectively. Studies investigating the development of teachers’ PCK tend to conceptualise PCK as tacit knowledge that pre-service teachers accumulate over time through personal experiences of teaching, reflection on teaching and observation of more experienced teachers. In this study, we examine the development of pre-service teachers’ PCK by making explicit what is usually considered tacit knowledge
of PCK through surfacing the thinking, reasoning behind, and enactment of pre-service teachers’ pedagogical decision-making. Set in the context of pre-service teachers’ school placement, this study employs a semi-structured interview and a self-reflection questionnaire adapted from content representation (CoRe) to find out how STEM pre-service teachers develop their PCK, what experiences influence this development, and why they teach the way they do. Our study revealed that pre-service teachers’ prior work experiences have a significant influence on their teaching orientations, which then shape their knowledge of the curriculum and instructional strategies. However, pre-service teachers’ PCK development is impeded by their limited knowledge of the learners and knowledge of assessments. The findings suggest a need to reconceptualise the teacher education programme for career switch teachers as well as a rethinking of the school placement model.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2023
EventAustralian Teacher Education Association Conference 2023: Embracing Partnerships: Leading the Future of Teaching, Learning and Research - Australian Catholic University, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 12 Jul 202314 Jul 2023


ConferenceAustralian Teacher Education Association Conference 2023
Abbreviated titleATEA 2023
Internet address

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