Educational Research and Innovation

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

2076-9679 (online)
2076-9660 (print)
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This series of books from the OECD's Centre for Educational Research and Innovations provides the results of OECD work on innovation in education.

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Pedagogical Knowledge and the Changing Nature of the Teaching Profession

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Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

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Edited By:Sonia Guerriero
21 Feb 2017
9789264270695 (PDF) ; 9789264270725 (EPUB) ;9789264270688(print)

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Highly qualified and competent teachers are fundamental for equitable and effective education systems. Teachers today are facing higher and more complex expectations to  help students reach their full potential and become valuable members of 21st century society. The nature and variety of these demands imply that teachers, more than ever before, must be professionals who make decisions based on a robust and updated knowledge base.

This publication presents research and ideas from multiple perspectives on pedagogical knowledge - the knowledge of teaching and learning - and the changing nature of the teaching profession. It provides a modern account of teachers’ professional competence, and how this relates to student learning. The report looks at knowledge dynamics in the teaching profession and investigates how teachers’ knowledge can be measured. It provides precious insights into 21st century demands on teacher knowledge.

This volume also offers a conceptual base for a future empirical study on teachers’ knowledge. It will be a useful resource for those interested in understanding the different factors underlying high quality teaching through examining and outlining the complexity of the teaching profession. In particular, this publication will be of interest to teacher educators, educational leaders, policy makers and the research community.

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  • Foreword and acknowlegements

    Highly qualified and competent teachers are the key for excellent education systems. This has been a constant message resulting from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) work on education through programmes such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS). In a knowledge society, teachers are also increasingly seen as knowledge professionals, working at the frontline of one of society’s most important knowledge creation and transfer systems: education. But what does that mean when we qualify teachers as knowledge professionals? This has been the fundamental question for the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) to embark on the Innovative Teaching for Effective Learning (ITEL) project.

  • Executive Summary

    Teachers possess highly-specialised knowledge that continually transforms as new knowledge emerges from practice and research or is shared through professional communities. Pedagogical knowledge, that is, knowledge of teaching and learning, refers to the specialised body of knowledge of teachers for creating effective teaching and learning environments for their students. There is agreement that competence in teaching requires a high level of pedagogical knowledge, but there is still the need to assess teacher knowledge as an outcome of teacher education systems and as a predictor of effective teaching and student achievement. These questions are important for OECD countries to improve the policies of the teaching workforce, including initial teacher education, induction and mentoring, and professional development. This publication therefore aims to summarise and synthesise conceptual and empirical work that can contribute to policy development in this area.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Teachers’ knowledge and the teaching profession

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    • The teaching profession and its knowledge base

      This chapter outlines the context for investigating teacher knowledge by providing a brief overview of the teaching profession. First, we summarise some of the sociological literature on professions, including how professions have been conceptualised, what their main attributes are and how teaching is seen within these approaches. Second, we review the main factors that have exerted influence on the status of the teaching profession such as autonomy, governance, self-regulation and teacher education. These reflections prompt questions on teachers’ scientific knowledge base, their professional competence and how the two are related. Questions raised in this introduction provide the rationale for this publication: the need to derive evidence-informed suggestions for educational policy and future research by examining the current state of teachers’ pedagogical knowledge and implications for the instructional process.

    • Knowledge dynamics in the teaching profession

      This chapter explores the structural, functional and social dimensions of knowledge dynamics in the teaching profession. Knowledge dynamics refers to the characteristics of knowledge that transform, change and evolve as a result of various processes and influences. First, we provide an overview of the structural aspects that relate to the dynamics between teachers’ explicit and tacit knowledge. Second, we analyse the different functions of knowledge – its production, mediation and use – and explore how these functions interact and influence each other. We also look at evidence about how functional dynamics relate to solidification of teachers’ knowledge. Third, we study how teachers’ knowledge is affected by a range of complex social processes such as interactions among different actors and other elements of the social-professional field. Lastly, we explore the different possibilities that complexity theory can offer to understanding knowledge dynamics and the consequences that this analytical perspective can have on governing teachers’ knowledge.

    • Teacher professionalism and knowledge in qualifications frameworks and professional standards

      This chapter explores how teachers’ professionalism and teachers’ knowledge are manifested through instruments such as qualifications frameworks and professional standards. National systems employ these documents as a reference to guide teachers on what they should know and be able to do. Firstly, we begin by exploring how qualifications frameworks and standards define and shape teachers’ professional competences. We use the metaphor of a “knowledge wall” to explain how the two frameworks relate to each other. Secondly, we analyse the internal structure and the content of five professional standards in Australia, England and Scotland (United Kingdom), the standards developed by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (United States) and Ontario (Canada). In particular we examine how different types of knowledge components are described and which elements of pedagogical knowledge are specified.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Measuring teacher knowledge and professional competence: Opportunities and challenges

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    • Teachers' pedagogical knowledge: What it is and how it functions

      This chapter gives an overview of the literature on teachers’ knowledge and how it relates to teacher quality and student outcomes. First, we illustrate the complexity of the teaching and learning process through some models. Second, we review how teachers’ knowledge has been conceptualised and what specific content it is composed of in the different models, focusing in particular on pedagogical knowledge. Third, we summarise the empirical evidence on the relationship between teachers’ knowledge and student learning outcomes. We then describe how pedagogical knowledge is used in decision-making, how it is learned and how it is developed into expertise. We conclude with some implications on teacher education.

    • Modelling teachers' professional competence as a multi-dimensional construct

      This chapter presents a framework for comparative studies that explains student achievement by teacher competence. Teacher competence is modelled as a multi-dimensional construct that includes cognitive and affective-motivational resources necessary to master classroom demands. Lesson planning, motivating students, classroom management and diagnosing student achievement can be regarded as crucial demands teachers have to master in many countries. Processes mediating the transformation of teacher’s cognitive and affective-motivational resources into classroom performance in terms of teachers’ situational skills are included in the framework as well. Perception, interpretation and decision-making are highlighted in this respect. Competence profiles describe the patterns how all teacher resources (cognition, affect, motivation, situational skills) play together. In this chapter, we pay attention particularly to teachers’ general pedagogical knowledge and skills which are facets all teachers need to deal successfully with classroom demands. Empirical results from the international “Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics (TEDS-M)” are presented, which examined teacher knowledge in 16 countries at the end of their programmes. In addition, results on mediating situated skills such as teachers’ perception or decision-making are presented.

    • Connecting generic pedagogical knowledge with practice

      In this chapter, we introduce the concept of professional vision to assess aspects of pre-service teachers’ knowledge referring to the contextualised and situated nature of real-world demands of the teaching profession. We use the concept to describe how pre-service teachers draw on their pedagogical, declarative-conceptual knowledge about effective teaching and learning to notice and interpret relevant features of classroom situations. In this chapter, we describe in a first section how the structure of pre-service teachers’ professional vision is modelled. Based on the theoretical assumed structure, we outline in section two how pre-service teachers’ professional vision is assessed by a standardised, formative approach. Finally, in section three we summarise findings with regard to the question how pre-service teachers change their professional vision within university-based teacher education.

    • Motivations for teaching and relationship to general pedagogical knowledge

      This chapter reports about research on the relationship between teaching motivations and the general pedagogical knowledge (GPK) of teachers. It focuses on two studies that have been carried out so far to specifically investigate pre-service teachers’ GPK as an outcome of teaching motivations. The presentation will give input to discuss the following questions: What conceptual frameworks have been used to consider the relationship between motivations for teaching and GPK? What do the empirical findings show to explicate the relationship? What could be recommended for future research? The two studies focused on in this presentation have a longitudinal design investigating teaching motivations. To capture GPK, the paper-pencil test developed in the Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics (TEDS-M) is used. Teaching motivations are measured using the Factors Influencing Teaching as a Career Choice (FIT-Choice) scale inventory. Implications for future research are discussed.

    • Teacher motivation, responsibility, pedagogical knowledge and professionalism: a new era for research

      The key objective of this chapter is to provide an overview of current research on teacher motivation and its relevance to the instructional process and to teachers’ professional competence. The chapter begins with a brief review of different approaches to the conceptualisation of teachers’ professional competence, with a special focus on high-leverage teaching practices and dimensions of teaching quality. Next, the chapter focuses on teacher motivation as an element of teachers’ professional competence and describes different theory-driven conceptualisations of teacher motivation, including perspectives grounded in socio-cognitive theory, expectancy-value theory, self-determination theory, achievement goal theory and research on teacher responsibility. The chapter concludes with a discussion of open questions, methodological and theoretical challenges for teacher motivation research, as well as directions for future research.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Century demands on teacher knowledge

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    • Developmental cognitive neuroscience: Implications for teachers' pedagogical knowledge

      This chapter critically considers the role that insights from research in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience (the study of the neural underpinnings of developmental changes in psychological functioning) might play in teachers’ pedagogical knowledge. The chapter reviews key findings in neuroscience with implications for learning, such as functional and structural brain development and brain plasticity. We discuss concepts such as transfer of learning from one domain to another as well as the role that neuroscience can play in the prediction of educational outcomes. In addition, we consider how such evidence might be integrated into pre-service teacher education as well as ongoing in-service teacher professional development. Finally, the chapter discusses the importance of considering Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience as an important contribution towards more evidence-based education and highlights that such information must be integrated with evidence from psychology, cognitive science and other research enterprises related to learning and education.

    • Teaching, learning and assessing 21st century skills

      This chapter draws upon the report Education for Life and Work: Developing Transferable Knowledge and Skills in the 21st Century (Pellegrino and Hilton, 2012) to address questions about why the terms labelled “deeper learning” and “21st century skills” have achieved prominence in the thinking and actions of multiple stakeholder groups and what we know from research to help us think productively about their educational and social implications.In particular, the chapter considers issues of construct definition and identifies three important domains of competence – cognitive, intrapersonal and interpersonal. It then considers research evidence related to these domains including their importance for success in education and work, their representation in disciplinary standards, and the design of instruction in areas such as reading, mathematics and science to promote their development. It concludes with implications for curriculum, instruction, assessment, teacher learning and professional development.

    • Knowledge-based teaching and the evolution of a profession

      This chapter brings together the theoretical and empirical evidence presented in this volume to draw conclusions on how teacher quality can be measured. First we look at the main elements of the teaching profession as the context for investigating teachers’ knowledge. Second, we provide a brief overview of the evidence of the impact of teachers’ knowledge and motivation and conclude with future directions for research. Next, we present a new conceptual framework of teachers’ professional competence that builds on the evidence gathered in this volume and is developed to feed into an international comparative study. Last, we conclude with implications on governing teachers’ knowledge and formulate three main challenges teacher policies should address in the future.

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