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Exploring the complexities of describing foundation phase teachers' professional knowledge base
University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4317-7335
University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
2015 (English)In: South African Journal of Childhood Education, ISSN 2223-7674, Vol. 5, no 1, 169-190 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this paper is to engage with the complexities of describing teachers' professional knowledge and eventually also their learning through written tests. The bigger research aim is to describe what knowledge foundation phase teachers acquired during their two years of study towards the Advanced Certificate of Teaching (ACT). We designed a written test to investigate the professional knowledge that teachers bring with them when they enrol for the ACT, with the aim of comparing their responses to the same test two years later, when they had completed the programme. The questionnaire included questions on teachers' content knowledge; their pedagogical content knowledge (in particular, teachers' knowledge about learner misconceptions, stages of learning, and ways of engaging these in making teaching decisions); and their personal knowledge (such as their beliefs about how children learn and barriers to learning). It spanned the fields of literacy in English and isiZulu, numeracy, and general pedagogy. Eighty-six foundation phase teachers enrolled for the ACT at the University of KwaZulu-Natal completed the questionnaire, and their responses pointed us to further methodological issues. We discuss the assumptions behind the design of the test/ questionnaire, the difficulties in formulating relevant questions, and the problems of 'accessing' specific elements of teacher knowledge through this type of instrument. Our process shows the difficulties both in constructing questions and in coding the responses, in particular concerning the pedagogical content knowledge component for teachers from Grade R to Grade 3.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 5, no 1, 169-190 p.
Keyword [en]
foundation phase teachers, metric, teacher knowledge, professional knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, elementary teachers
National Category
Learning
Research subject
Didactic Science for Teachers and Teaching Professions
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-135302OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-135302DiVA: diva2:1044283
Available from: 2016-11-02 Created: 2016-11-02 Last updated: 2017-02-28Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf