14 December, 2009

Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK)

Artikel di petik dari : http://eduspaces.net/edutech/weblog/28667.html
Pedagogical content knowledge
Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) as described by Lee Shulman, is essentially the ability for teachers to reason pedagogically, and for them to adapt the practice of their own pedagogy when necessary - to "elucidate subject matter in new ways".
So we know that ICT is an ever-changing beast, with new technological developments emerging at an astonishing pace. As ICT practitioners we need to be abreast of these technologies. However there surely comes a time when we need to ponder how these technologies impact the practice of teaching itself - the way in which we teach, assess, communicate; the pedagogical content knowledge.
Back in the 1970s Shulman noticed that the late 19th Century teaching emphasis upon content knowledge was being superseded by more pupil-centred approaches, which accounted for such things as social awareness, individual needs, and (oh we like this one) a growing need to adhere to educational procedure. I was a child of the 1980s, the first year to take GCSEs, and the increasing drive for firm following of educational policies since then has led us to a situation today where there is a bewildering amount of policies and recommendations to follow. Nevertheless it did stamp out a good deal of lazy teaching and poor practice. As a pupil I knew the good teachers from the bad ones - the teachers who would motivate and inspire and illustrate, in contrast to the ones who taught from the book and who gave us rote learning tasks.
Anyway, for Shulman that are three types of content knowledge:
(1) Subject matter content knowledge - the skills and the understanding of computer technology that all good ICT teachers should have as a matter of course. If I am unable to demonstrate or explain to children how to create a nested IF statement in Excel, it is up to me as a good ICT teacher to figure it out in order to be able to teach it.
(2) Pedagogical content knowledge allows me to repackage this knowledge that I now have about nested Ifs, and deliver it effectively to a wide range of students. I need to account for different ages and abilities, I need to be able to communicate something that might be quite complicated into something my pupils will understand. I also need to stretch the ones who will figure it out in just a couple of minutes. This of course is what many people see as good teaching and it is the kind of knowledge that good teachers pick up as they become more experienced.
(3) Curricular content knowledge - knowledge of the programmes of study, schemes of work etc etc that now exist.
The Pedagogical content knowledge is the one that interests me the most because it is essentially about how we enable children to learn within the context of NC schemes and subject matter knowledge. A large amount of 'average' teaching takes a very generic approach and one reason is the great teaching bugbear - time. CPD in schools rarely addreses pedagogic content knowledge and we have all experienced INSET sessions that are pretty much a waste of time for 90% of the audience when we have more pressing things to do. However lack of time should not be an excuse - when we have technologies emerging know that can impact significantly on our pedagogy then we absolutely have to address this and move away from a generic approach.
Advanced Skills Teachers are an interesting step in the right direction and are assigned 20% non contact time in order to disseminate high quality practice. However I would like to see more whole-school CPD which specifically address pedagogy and which examines such emerging technologies as VLEs to see how they impact upon our PCK.
Various national bodies such as QCA, the National Curriculum and so on are still emphasising ICT capability and skills. The UK curriculum seems to be obsessed with outcomes, with nods towards knowledge and understanding. They feel like mere nods. Having taught a Keystage 3 ICT curriculum for a number of years, I really need to work hard to get good theoretical discussions out of the pupils - to move beyond merely 'producing' something at the end of a unit, and towards actually discussing and reflecting upon ICT at the conceptual level. Even if I achieve that, I have to work all the harder to consider my pedagogical approach and to see if I as a teacher can communicate such concepts in a more effective way - from using a variety of metaphors and exercises to harnessing the power of new technologies such as moodle. Relying on PowerPoint slides or turning pages in a textbook to see you through a lesson does not count.
Having taught Edexcel GCSE ICT for a number of years, I know from experience that a huge amount of lesson time is necessarily devoted to the 4 projects that comprise 60% of the pupils' total marks. Again I have to push hard to have interesting and meaningful theoretical discussions. If I don't work to get these into my teaching, if I just teach to the syllabus, then I am an average teacher. Not a poor teacher - just an average one. I have seen a lot of average teachers. Is this because the subject of ICT is so new? Partly. Is it because we are lacking a clear pedagogic focus? Definitely.