International Handbook of Teacher Education pages:347-386
Over the past 25 years, PCK has become widely accepted as a useful construct in understanding the unique nature and development of teachers’ knowledge, and PCK research in the field of teacher education has rapidly accumulated. Yet while there is consensus in the literature about the importance of the construct in bringing together specific types of knowledge that teachers require to support effective student learning of particular subject matter, questions still remain about how PCK can be understood, developed and organised in the context of initial teacher education. The development of PCK has been the subject of studies in different program formats of teacher education, at different levels (elementary, secondary), in different subjects, and in various countries. From these studies, it is apparent that whatever the organizational format of the program, the development of PCK should be related to pre-service teachers’ subject matter knowledge on the one hand, and their teaching experiences, notably during practicum, on the other. Equally, developing PCK requires pre-service teachers’ ability and willingness to view subject matter from a learners’ perspective. Depending on the level of subject matter knowledge of pre-service teachers at the start of their program, the development of PCK may benefit from a design that integrates institute-based activities with authentic classroom teaching of subject matter.