The different knowledge bases
I did not know that teaching is this complicated. Imagine the knowledge bases one is to master in order to be a competent teacher. As if mastery of all these knowledge bases guarantee effective teaching practice. My assumption was when you have successfully obtain an academic degree and pass necessary examinations or screening process, then you are good to go. The fact that you have gone through learning process makes you eligible for teaching practice. However, from my experience as learner, I realized that this was not so. I have teachers who were more influential, teachers who were intimidating, and teachers who simply did not care (or so I thought). Looking back, I realized that these teachers have different knowledge bases.
So what are these knowledge bases? According to Shulman, there are seven knowledge base namely: 1) Content knowledge; 2) General Pedagogical knowledge; 3) Pedagogical Content Knowledge; 4) Curriculum knowledge; 5) Knowledge of learners and their characteristics; 6) Knowledge of educational context; and 7) Knowledge of educational ends. In addition is the technological knowledge.
Initially, I think only of content knowledge and curriculum knowledge as something that teachers have to master. I was not even aware of the word pedagogy until recently. I did not know that there is such a way/method/procedure of teaching. For me, pedagogy is something of one’s preference or unique way of teaching, whatever method (sariling diskarte) for as long as it is effective. So it is more of trial and error instruction for as long as you are meeting learning objectives.
Then here is technology! Our lives have been transformed in many ways. In today’s classroom, technology is changing the way we approach learning and teaching. Even the learners themselves (referring to the millennial) have different needs and teachers have to cope up in terms of how to provide stimulating learning environment. Way back my high school days, reports were typewritten. Now, reports are paperless and submitted electronically. Also, access to resources like books, journals, and other information have to be sourced at the library, but now almost everything you need can be search online. Indeed, the learning environment has been altered using advance technologies. The challenges to teachers are overwhelming! Whew, imagine you have to be always updated and well informed in order for you to make decisions in everything you do.
But where do we get this knowledge base? How can we be confident that we have acquired such knowledge? Apparently, there are four sources such as the following: 1) Scholarship content discipline; 2) Educational materials and structure; 3) Formal educational scholarship; and 4) The wisdom of practice. Therefore, it is expected from a teacher to have continuous education or to inquire continually and to gain wisdom from experience/actual teaching. It is through lifelong learning and reflective practice that we may possess all these knowledge. It is not something that we can do instantly, but a tedious process of consciously learning, evaluating, reflecting, and acting on what we think is best.
Shulman, L. (1987). Knowledge and Teaching: Foundations of the New Reforms. https://people.ucsc.edu/~ktellez/shulman.pdf
Mishra and Koehler. (2007). What Is Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge? https://citejournal.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/v9i1general1.pdf