Unpacking Pedagogical Content Knowledge: Conceptualizing and Measuring Teachers' Topic-Specific Knowledge of Students

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  • 1 Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • 2 University of Michigan

There is widespread agreement that effective teachers have unique knowledge of students' mathematical ideas and thinking. However, few scholars have focused on conceptualizing this domain, and even fewer have focused on measuring this knowledge. In this article, we describe an effort to conceptualize and develop measures of teachers' combined knowledge of content and students by writing, piloting, and analyzing results from multiple-choice items. Our results suggest partial success in measuring this domain among practicing teachers but also identify key areas around which the field must achieve conceptual and empirical clarity. Although this is ongoing work, we believe that the lessons learned from our efforts shed light on teachers' knowledge in this domain and can inform future attempts to develop measures.

Contributor Notes

Heather C. Hill, Harvard Graduate School of Education, 6 Appian Way #445, Cambridge, MA 02138; heather_hill@harvard.edu

Deborah Loewenberg Ball, University of Michigan School of Education, 610 E. University, Ann Arbor, MI 48109; deborahball@umich.edu

Stephen G. Schilling, University of Michigan School of Education, 610 E. University, Ann Arbor, MI 48109; schillsg@umich.edu

(Corresponding author is Hill heather_hill@harvard.edu)(Corresponding author is Ball deborahball@umich.edu)(Corresponding author is Schilling schillsg@umich.edu)
Journal for Research in Mathematics Education


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