Some teachers think the best way to improve their teaching is to develop their content knowledge. When teachers have this outlook on teaching they end up with high levels of knowledge, but do not have the instructional methods and strategies needed to relay their knowledge to their students. Content knowledge is no more important than process knowledge, both are essential. What we teach and how we teach it are very important to one another.
Although both of these types of knowledge are essential, the development of one does not improve the other. Content knowledge can be improved through further studies, but if the strategies used to relay that knowledge are subpar, teaching will still be ineffective. Teachers tend to try to blame their ineffective teaching on everything imaginable, from the students to lack of materials. It is ultimately the teachers responsibility to weave content knowledge and process knowledge together to ensure a successful classroom.
The best teachers may not always have the strongest content knowledge but they do know their material, they also know a lot about the process. They have several instructional methods, strategies, and approaches—a collection they continually work on, just as they develop content knowledge. They value the importance of the power of the process to determine student learning outcomes.
Today’s standards r...
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Shulman, L. (1986). Those who understand: Knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher, 15 (2), 4-14.
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Shulman, L. (1992, September-October). Ways of seeing, ways of knowing, ways of teaching, ways of learning about teaching. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 28, 393-396. Weimer, Maryellen (Novemeber 2007) Content Knowledge: A Barrier to Teacher Development, The Teaching Professor, Volume 21, Number 9, pg. 4
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