DEPTH2: Developing professional knowledge in D&T secondary initial teacher education

Owen-Jackson, Gwyneth (2008). DEPTH2: Developing professional knowledge in D&T secondary initial teacher education. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 18(3) pp. 255–263.



There are various aspects to teachers’ professional knowledge, some such as subject knowledge are more easy to articulate than others, for example knowing how to construct a scheme of work. Student teachers need to be able to understand the various aspects of teachers’ professional knowledge in order to be able to help themselves reflect on and develop these various aspects. This research builds on earlier work conducted with design and technology colleagues in a number of different countries and teacher training institutions (see Banks et al., International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 14, 141–157, 2004). Leach and Banks, together with other colleagues, developed a visual tool for discussing the aspects of professional knowledge that student teachers are required to develop and this formed the basis of this research (Leach and Banks, Investigating the developing ‘Teacher Professional Knowledge’ of student teachers, 1996). The research was carried out with a cohort of 1-year Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) students on a conventional face-to-face programme. There were 11 in the group with six male and five female and the majority were aged under 25; this is atypical of this course both for gender and age, but this constituted the 2004–2005 intake. There were three data collection points: September 2004, on their first day of their course; January 2005 following their first school placement and June 2005 at the end of the course. The findings indicate the students’ development across the PGCE course in each of the areas relating to knowledge of subject, pedagogy and school. In each area there is a growth in their knowledge and a development in the complexity of their understanding. The students’ knowledge developed from a generalised understanding to a more specific and sophisticated one.

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