Annotated Bibliography of Resources for Educational Reform, Coherent Teaching Practice, and Improved Student Learning

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  • Kennedy, M. M. (1998). Education reform and subject matter knowledge. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 35, 249-263.

This article explores what K-12 teachers need to know to teach mathematics and science well. Reform documents are examined for definitions of good teaching practices in mathematics and science. The research literature is reviewed to reveal the kinds of knowledge teachers would need to teach as described in reform documents. Kennedy concludes that teachers should have conceptual understanding of the subject, pedagogical content knowledge, beliefs about the nature of science and mathematics, and attitudes toward these disciplines. Conceptual understanding of subject matter can be further described as having a sense of proportion, as understanding the central ideas, as seeing relationships among ideas, as possessing elaborated knowledge, and as having reasoning ability. Two problems in the area of subject matter knowledge are the lack of knowledge on how to foster teachers' deep understanding and reasoning ability and how to measure it, and the lack of evidence of how any of the characteristics of knowledge contribute to actual teaching practice.

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