Background/Purpose Ward's (2010) functional definition of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) raises several questions such as “What is the relationship (a) between content knowledge (CK) and PCK; and (b) between PCK and student achievement?” The literature to date has not shown demonstrable associations to either question. We report the effects of a specialized CK workshop on teachers' PCK and the resultant effects on student learning in a badminton instructional unit.
Method Four middle school physical educators participated in this quasi-experimental study. Each teacher taught two classes of a 6-day badminton unit using their typical instruction. The teachers then participated in a CK workshop. Following the workshop the teachers taught two different classes. 96 students (6 per class) in 96 lessons were observed to collect both student performance data and teacher PCK data (i.e., task maturity, task appropriateness, and task adaptations).
Analysis/Results Student data were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U non-parametric test. There were statistically significant differences between the comparison classes and the experimental classes in terms of the percentage of students' correct trials (U = 84, p < .001) and incorrect trials (U = 84, p < .001). Descriptive analysis was used to analyze the teacher data. Data showed that teacher tasks were more mature, developmentally appropriate, and precise after the workshop.
Conclusions The study showed that teacher behaviors following the workshop were qualitatively different from the behaviors they exhibited before the workshop on all variables. The teachers' PCK following the workshop was associated with significant positive changes in student learning.
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