Pedagogical Knowledge and the Changing Nature of the Teaching Profession

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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.


Knowledge dynamics in the teaching profession

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

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.


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