Teacher knowledge in action: The theoretical base of effective teaching

Year: 1994

Author: Meade, Phil H., McMeniman, Marilyn

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Based on the findings of a previous investigation (Meade & McMeniman, 1992), this study sought to establish whether Shulman's categories of the teacher's knowledge base were adequate for the examination of teachers' theories in action. Through the use of interview and video- stimulated recall techniques, the theories underlying the classroom actions of one effective teacher of upper secondary science were analysed. Although use was made initially of Shulman's categories, the data collected indicated that this categorisation needed a number of refinements and extensions to represent adequately the data. This was effected through the development of a categorisation based on an analysis of the current literature in effective teaching in general, and effective science teaching in particular.

Results of the study indicate that Shulman's categorisation can be usefully extended by reference to both the literature on effective teaching and the literature on domain-specific effective teaching. Further, this study concluded that, at least in relation to this one effective teacher, teacher classroom actions are strongly theoretically-based. The results of this study challenge the assertion by some that teacher actions are atheoretical and provide positive indication for further research with a larger sample.