Shulman, or Shulman and Shulman? How communities and contexts affect the development of pre-service teachers’ subject knowledge
Much research in teacher education explores the nature of subject knowledge (what?) and its importance for teachers and teaching. Other research focuses on the people, processes and contextual factors that influence the development of teacher knowledge (how?). Fewer studies focus on the link between the two. This paper explores the interconnection between the development of subject knowledge and the influence of communities in which the learning is located. Participants followed an initial teacher education (ITE) course in physical education. Data collection consisted of interviews with pre-service teachers and their school-based mentors. Data analysis utilised the constant comparative method. The study found significant gains in the knowledge bases that were investigated. These could only be understood within the context of the communities in which the learning took place. This influence needs to be explicitly recognised, if a more complete understanding of subject knowledge formation on ITE programmes is to be developed.
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