Assessing Pre Service Teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge Using A 'Bricolage' Approach

Mrs Fadzilah Abd Rahman,
Dr. Jon A. Scaife
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Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) is increasingly recognized as an essential component in understanding 'quality teaching' and in assessing the teaching of pre-qualified teachers. Shulman (1986, 1987) suggests that in order to teach a subject, one needs a breadth and depth of PCK, a rich knowledge base with many interconnections which represent a much more thorough understanding than that which is achieved purely as learner of the subject. The construction of PCK not only requires an understanding of subject matter but also an understanding of children: their abilities and interests and how they tend to respond to different situations; also an appreciation of different teaching strategies and how various types of classroom activity might be managed (Calderhead and Shorrock, 1997). In relation to this, an attempt to assess the nature of pre service teachers' pedagogical content knowledge (PSTs' PCK) cannot rely exclusively on one specific method of data gathering. This is because a teacher's PCK is personally constructed by the teacher. A researcher has no direct access to the teacher's construction and must assess the teacher's PCK through inferences from the results of coordinated methods of enquiry.

Based on a constructivist paradigm, this paper presents a so-called 'bricolage' approach to the assessment of PSTs' PCK. The approach is subjected to critical judgment using criteria suggested by Guba and Lincoln (1989): 'credibility', 'transferability', 'dependability', and 'conformability'. The data discussed in this paper are excerpted from a study involving a sample of 20 student teachers at a University in the United Kingdom. Based on an analysis of the completed questionnaires, the student teachers have been observed and interviewed. The findings will be presented and elaborated upon in this paper.

Keywords: Pre service Teacher, Pedagogical Content Knowledge, Constructivist Paradigm, Bricolage Approach
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: Assessing Pre Service Teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge Using A 'Bricolage' Approach

Mrs Fadzilah Abd Rahman

Doctoral Student, Department of Educational Studies, School of Education , University of Sheffield

Mrs Rahman is a doctoral student at the Department of Educational Studies, University of Sheffield. Previously she was a lecturer in the area of Language Teaching Method, Assessment and Evaluation, and Curriculum Development at the Faculty of Educational Studies, University Putra Malaysia, Malaysia. She is currently working on her PhD in the field of Pedagogy in Teacher Education, particularly in assessing the nature of pedagogical content knowledge among pre service teachers. Her interest is in pedagogy; teacher education; assessment and evaluation; and curriculum development.

Dr. Jon A. Scaife

Lecturer, Department of Educational Studies, School of Education, , University of Sheffield

Dr Scaife, J.A is a lecturer in the field of Science Education, Educational and Professional Studies and Teaching in Higher Education at the Department of Educational Studies, University of Sheffield. He has a particular interest in learning and in the nature of knowledge. This underpins his research interests in the relationship between learning and teaching, in Interpersonal Process Recall, and in the construction of rich learning environments.

Ref: L05P0483