Papers & Workshops



An Evaluation of Pedagogical Content Knowledge among Higher Education Graduate Teachers


Assoc. Prof. Habibah Elias and Assoc. Prof. Zaidatol Akmaliah Lope Pihie

Faculty of Educational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia


The trend in our educational system today is moving from classroom based learning towards virtual classrooms where children will depend less on the teachers for knowledge of content and more on multi-media resources. To meet that transition, teachers have to concentrate on the pedagogical content knowledge as emphasized by Schulman (1986). This is because even with the virtual classrooms, teachers still need pedagogical content knowledge. However at this juncture there is little information on the pedagogical content knowledge among graduate teachers. Therefore there is a need to conduct a study on this aspect. Since students are the clients, they are an important source of information regarding teachers' competence in terms of pedagogical content knowledge. This paper reports a research findings conducted with the following objectives:

To solicit

1) teaching strategies utilized by graduate teachers as perceived by their students.
2) the learning approaches utilized by graduate teachers for their lessons as perceived by the students
3) the students' understanding of the content knowledge
4) how graduate teachers handle learning problems as perceived by the students.

A survey was conducted on a cluster sample of 387 secondary school students aged between 15 to 16 years. A structured questionnaire based on Schulman model of pedagogical content knowledge was administered to subjects. Results showed that the graduate teachers used demonstrations and brainstorming as the main strategies in teaching compared to the traditional methods. As far as learning approaches are concerned the graduate teachers still used whole classroom instruction with little individual guidance although some conducted cooperative learning groups strategy. The graduate teachers used revision, more detailed explanations, examples and relating experiences to overcome learning problems. The findings of this study showed that there is a trend away from the traditional methods. The implications of the findings on the teacher education and training for the new millennium will be discussed.

  Presentation Format: 45 min. paper

RMIT, Melbourne, Australia

5-9 July 2000