ERG SES E 05, Teacher Education
It is known that teachers’ knowledge is an important component in effective teaching (Blömeke & Delaney, 2012; König, 2014). Consequently, the teacher education researchers have emphasized the necessity of supporting the development of pre-service and in-service teachers’ knowledge base in teacher education programs. Three components of teachers’ knowledge are commonly differentiated: content knowledge (the knowledge of the subject), pedagogical content knowledge (the knowledge about teaching and learning a specific subject) and general pedagogical knowledge (not linked to subject matter) (Baumert et al., 2010; König & Pflanzl, 2016; Shulman, 1986, 1987).
Numerous empirical studies have been conducted about content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge, while teachers’ general pedagogical knowledge (GPK) is still less studied (König et al., 2011). In addition to this, several authors (e.g. Baumert et al., 2010; König et al., 2011) point out that the concept of GPK is still intangible in the literature. In this current study, general pedagogical knowledge has been described as broad principles and strategies of classroom management and organization, knowledge of learners and learning, assessment, educational contexts, and educational purposes across different subject domains (Shulman, 1987).
Besides knowledge, different aspects of teacher motivation have also been emphasized by several scholars. It has been argued that similarly to the relation of pupils’ motivation and their academic success, teachers’ own motivation is an important element of their knowledge (Lauermann, 2015). More specifically, teachers’ motivational characteristics “include teachers’ beliefs about their content area, about teaching, and about student learning, as well as teachers’ own motivation and self regulation” (Lauermann, 2015, p. 5).
As previously mentioned, empirical studies about teachers’ GPK are still rather rare. The aim of this study was to find out how teachers’ GPK is related to teachers’ motivational characteristics. More specifically, we focused on the following aspects of teacher motivation: self-efficacy (Tschannen-Moran and Woolfolk Hoy, 2001), self-responsibility (Lauermann and Karabenick, 2013), and intrinsic motivation (Kunter et al., 2008). Consequently, the following research questions were addressed:
1. How is pre-service teachers’ general pedagogical knowledge related to their self-efficacy, self-responsibility and intrinsic orientations?
2. How is in-service teachers’ general pedagogical knowledge related to their self-efficacy, self-responsibility and intrinsic orientations?
Data was collected from 167 pre-service teachers and 163 in-service teachers. The pre-service teachers were studying on different teacher education curricula (e.g. primary school teacher, subject teacher, special education teacher etc.). 17% of the pre-service teachers were on their last year of studies and 4% were already working as teachers. The in-service teachers taught science, mathematics or mother tongue to children aged 13 to 15. Their working experience varied from one year to 57 years. In order to collect data about teachers’ knowledge and motivation, the Teacher Knowledge Survey (Sonmark et al., 2017) was used. The survey included a knowledge test to measure participants’ GPK and a teachers’ motivation questionnaire. The knowledge test of the survey consisted of 60 questions that were divided into six sub-dimensions: 1) teaching methods and lesson planning (15 items); 2) classroom management (5 items); 3) learning and development (13 items); 4) affective-motivational dispositions (7 items); 5) evaluation and diagnosis procedures (13 items); 6) data and research literacy (7 items). A number of items were adapted from existing instruments (e.g. TEDS-M) that had the advantage of being already validated in an international context. Other items were developed by several experts through an examination of empirical evidence (Sonmark et al, 2017). In the knowledge test, the participants had to choose an option that they thought was the correct answer. In this current study, the reliability of the knowledge test was .77. The teachers’ motivation questionnaire was developed based on established motivational theories (Sonmark et al, 2017). The constructs used in the current study were the following: 1) teacher self-efficacy (indicating an opinion about different statements on scale 1 to 7); 2) teacher self-responsibility (indicating to what extent the participants feel personally responsible on a scale 1 to 7); 3) intrinsic orientations (indicating to what extent the participants agree on a scale 1 to 4). The reliability of the scales in this current study varied from .73 to .92. For the data analysis an IRT (item response theory) one-parameter model was applied using Winsteps Rasch software. To find out the level of knowledge of each participant, their mean measures were found. The teachers’ motivation questionnaires were analyzed with SPSS and the means of the scales were found. In order to investigate the relationship between participants’ knowledge and motivation, Spearman correlation analysis was used.
The results showed that there was no correlation between pre-service and in-service teachers’ GPK and their self-efficacy. However, a weak positive correlation was found between pre-service teachers’ self-responsibility and level of knowledge. More specifically, the pre-service teachers who felt more responsible for teaching quality had better knowledge about teaching methods and lesson planning (r=.253; p<.01), affective-motivational dispositions (r=.154; p<.05), and evaluation and diagnosis procedures (r=.235; p<.01). In addition to this, the self-responsibility for relationships with students was weakly correlated with classroom management (r=.155; p<.05). Similarly to pre-service teachers, there was no correlation between in-service teachers’ GPK and their self-efficacy. Instead, a weak positive correlation was found between self-responsibility for relationships with students and several sub-dimensions of GPK: learning and development (r=.195, p<.05), affective-motivational dispositions (r=.175; p<.05), and evaluation and diagnosis procedures (r=.175; p<.05). In addition to that, the teachers who had more enthusiasm for teaching performed better in the knowledge test sub-dimension about learning and development (r=.168; p<.05). Based on these results it can be argued that feeling more self-responsibility as well as enthusiasm for teaching is related to better general pedagogical knowledge. Assumingly, these motivational characteristics can lead both, pre-service and in-service teachers, to pay more attention to their preparation in order to be successful in teaching. As written by Lauermann (2015), the success in teaching does not only come from the knowledge of instructional process, but is also affected by teachers’ motivational characteristics. Finally, these characteristics play an important role in effective teaching.
Baumert, J., Kunter, M., Blum, W., Brunner, M., Voss, T., Jordan, A., Klusmann, U., Krauss, S., Neubrand, M., & Tsai, Y.-M. (2010). Teachers’ mathematical knowledge, cognitive activation in the classroom, and student progress. American Educational Research Journal, 47(1), 133-180. Blömeke, S. and S. Delaney (2012), ‘‘Assessment of teacher knowledge across countries: A review of the state of research’’, ZDM Mathematics Education, Vol. 44, pp. 223-247. Kunter, M. et al. (2008), “Students' and mathematics teachers' perceptions of teacher enthusiasm and instruction”, Learning and Instruction, Vol. 18/5, pp. 468-482, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2008.06.008. König, J. (2014). Designing an international instrument to assess teachers’ General Pedagogical Knowledge (GPK): Review of studies, considerations, and recommendations. Paris, France: Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/officialdocuments/publicdisplaydocumentpdf/?cote=EDU/CERI/CD/RD%282014%293/REV1&doclanguage=en König, J., Blömeke, S., Paine, L., Schmidt, B. & Hsieh, F.-J. (2011). General Pedagogical Knowledge of Future Middle School Teachers. On the Complex Ecology of Teacher Education in the United States, Germany, and Taiwan. Journal of Teacher Education, 62, 188-201. König, J. and B. Pflanzl (2016), “Is teacher knowledge associated with performance? On the relationship between teachers’ general pedagogical knowledge and instructional quality” European Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 39/4, pp. 419-436. Lauermann, F. (2015), ‘‘Teacher motivation research and its implications for the instructional process: A technical report and recommendations for an international large-scale assessment of teachers’ knowledge and professional competencies’’. Technical paper prepared for the OECD Innovative Teaching for Effective Learning (ITEL) – Phase II Project: A Survey to Profile the Pedagogical Knowledge in the Teaching Profession (ITEL Teacher Knowledge Survey), OECD: Paris. http://www.oecd.org/edu/ceri/teacher-knowledge-survey-reports.htm. Lauermann, F. and S.A. Karabenick (2013), ‘‘The meaning and measure of teachers’ sense of responsibility for educational outcomes’’, Teaching and Teacher Education, Vol. 30/1, pp. 13-26, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2012.10.001. Shulman, L. S. (1986). Those Who Understand: Knowledge Growth in Teaching. Educational Researcher, 15(2), 4-14. Shulman, L. S. (1987). Knowledge and teaching: Foundations of the new reform. Harvard Educational Research, 57, 1-22. Sonmark et al. (2017). Understanding teachers’ pedagogical knowledge: report on an international pilot study (No. 159). OECD Education working Papers. Paris. Tschannen-Moran, M. and A. Woolfolk Hoy (2001), ‘‘Teacher efficacy: Capturing an elusive concept’’, Teaching and Teacher Education, Vol. 17, pp. 783−805.
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