Well over a month ago, I designed an artwork which I uploaded to a website. The purpose of this site is to convert artwork into a variety of forms, print it and deliver it to the person for a reasonable price. The site seemed great. It told me when my order was printed, when it was sent an estimated arrival date and also provided me with a tracking number. I was really excited about receiving my artwork in a sticker form and checked my letterbox everyday after the estimated arrival date. Unfortunately, after 10 days of waiting my parcel still hadn’t arrived. I contacted the company who originally said that my order must not have been shipped. After I provided them with my tracking number, I discover that the company had sent my order using an American only shipping service which is just great considering I live in Australia!!! They then continued to say that they would be willing to resend my parcel using the correct shipping method at no additional cost to me. Eventually, one month after the estimated arrival date, I have received my parcel and I will certainly not be using this company again.
This goes to prove that although internet shopping can provide you with a variety of resources you wouldn’t be able to have access to in stores, sometimes a good old hand over of goods in person is much more reassuring.
In order to develop an engaging and worthwhile learning experience for our students, both constructing and transforming knowledge must be utilized. Constructing or declarative knowledge relates to the students static knowledge and understanding of the concept and specific facts. Once mastered, transforming or procedural knowledge can be implemented. This type of knowledge is more dynamic, providing students with ways of working and knowledge of how to do something.
Both of these forms of knowledge can be found in the Australian Curriculum. As identified by Benjamin, the remembering, understanding and applying stages of Blooms Taxonomy relate to constructing knowledge while the higher levels of analyzing, evaluating and creating align with transforming knowledge.
This knowledge made it far easier for me to select appropriate content descriptors for assignment two, where I will be creating a unit plan and assessment tasks for a year 2 history unit.
These content descriptors are:
Constructing knowledge: The impact of changing technology on people’s lives (at home and in the ways they worked, travelled, communicated, and played in the past) (ACHHK046) ( From the Historical Knowledge and Understanding strand)
Transforming knowledge: Identify and compare features of objects from the past and present (ACHHS051) (From the Historical Skills strand)
As future teachers, although we may possess a deep understanding of a specific concept or skill, it is important that we are also able to foster this understanding in our students. This overlap between the knowledge of the subject being taught and the pedagogic knowledge of how to teach it is known as Pedagogical Content Knowledge (read more about PCK here).
As we prepare for our practicum in the next few weeks, I plan to develop my pedagogical content knowledge through:
- Theory learned during preparation (e.g. from curriculum documents and other publications)
- Experience gained through previous placements and specific knowledge gained through previous courses that I have completed.
- Analysing factors related to my personal background which may influence my PCK
I will also avoid ‘recipe-style learning’ such as only teaching through a text book, or focusing on only the fun aspects of the subject, marginalizing other important content or skills.
As we move through this course into the creation of our second assignment and preparation for our professional experience in the coming weeks, the concept of Pedagogical Content Knowledge comes to the foreground. This concept was brought to light in 1986 by teacher education researcher Lee Shulman. He defined pedagogical content knowledge as “teachers’ interpretations and transformations of subject-matter knowledge in the context of facilitating student learning (IDRA, 2009).”
This concept is extremely important for our next assignment and professional experience as our actions as pre-service teachers are largely determined by our pedagogical content knowledge of all aspects of the curriculum, content descriptions and learning experiences. Sound pedagogical content knowledge links knowledge about teaching with knowledge about learning, providing us with a strong foundation for our future experiences.