Trainee Teachers' Perceptions of History Teaching and the Critical Education of Citizenship

Trainee Teachers' Perceptions of History Teaching and the Critical Education of Citizenship

Cosme Jesús Gómez Carrasco, Ramón López Facal, Belen María Castro Fernandez
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1978-3.ch012
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This chapter presents the results of a study carried out at the Universities of Murcia and Santiago de Compostela in Spain regarding the perceptions of trainee primary education teachers about educational knowledge of history education. The decision was taken to employ a quantitative non-experimental design via a Likert-type questionnaire (values from 1 to 5). Significant data have been obtained making it possible to carry out a diagnosis of their professional competencies. The results show that the majority of trainee primary education teachers identify with a critical model of teacher, one who must use active teaching methods and promote ethical values related with social justice. However, this idea contrasts with an implicit model which is much more traditional in its theoretical and methodological conceptions. In the conclusions, its propose the need to improve teacher training linking it more directly with the carrying out of teaching practice.
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In recent decades, the initial and on-going training of teachers has become a key issue (González & Skultety, 2018). Studies carried out in several countries agree on the need to update teacher training programmes in order to improve teaching and learning processes in compulsory education (Barnes, Fives, & Dacey, 2017; König & Blömeke, 2012; Korthagen, 2010). The research carried out points to the need for comparative studies making it possible to transfer these findings to teaching practice (Darling-Hammond & Bransford, 2005; König, Ligtvoet, Klemenz, & Rothland, 2017; Schmidt, Blömeke, & Tatto, 2011).

Researchers in the field of teacher training are in agreement that it is of prime importance to analyse teachers’ knowledge and conceptions in order to provide guidance for initial training programmes (Darling-Hammond, 2006; Fives & Buehl, 2012; Virta, 2002). Their studies highlight research which aims at calibrating the different types of professional knowledge of the teacher, emphasizing mastery of everyday tasks in the classroom (König & Pflanz, 2016; Oliveira, Lopes & Spear-Swerling, 2019).

Shulman’s (1989) proposals have greatly influenced the definition of the categories designed for research in the field of teacher training. When teaching competencies are evaluated, researchers tend to make a distinction between content knowledge (CK), pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and general pedagogical knowledge (GPK) (Kleickmann, Richter, Kunter, Elsner, Besser, Krauss, & Baumert, 2012). CK refers to the knowledge of a specific subject and is related with the content that teachers are obliged to teach. GPK implies broad principles and management and organisational strategies in the classroom (Blömeke, Busse, Kaiser, König, & Sühl, 2016). PCK implies the capacity of relating the specific material of the subject with the teaching aims (Monte-Sano, 2011). The latter is a type of knowledge which delves deeper into the learners’ social representations of a specific subject, into how the learner understands that knowledge, into the methods and resources necessary for teaching that subject and into the selection and organisation of the specific contents in order to make them suit the reality of the classroom (Meschede, Fiebranz, Möller, & Steffensky, 2017).

The main objective of this study is to provide the results of an exploratory study based on the opinions of trainee teachers on the teaching of history and teaching competencies. By way of the analysis of a questionnaire, this study aims to examine their level of competence in PCK. In order to achieve this aim, three specific objectives have been proposed:

  • SO1: To analyse the opinions and perceptions of trainee teachers regarding history as a school subject.

  • SO2: To analyse the opinions and perceptions of trainee teachers regarding historical competencies and teaching methodology.

  • SO3: To analyse the opinions and perceptions of trainee teachers regarding history education and social problems for the construction of identities.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Content Knowledge (CK): Knowledge about the subject matter, related to the content that teachers should teach.

Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK): Teachers' knowledge consisting in an integration of their pedagogical knowledge and their subject matter knowledge. Through it teachers relate their subject matter knowledge, in other words what they know about the content that they teach, to their pedagogical knowledge, in other words what they know about teaching

History Education: Learning and teaching processes contributing to citizens' improvement of their historical knowledge, and to the usefulness of this knowledge to their personal and social development.

Teacher Education: Formal educational processes contributing to future teachers' development of the required competencies as well as of their holistic training in order to perform as teachers.

Teaching Model: Set of instructional strategies that contribute to teaching practices.

Students’ Perceptions: Set of representations that students possess about a topic in the context of a research.

General Pedagogical Knowledge (GPK): Knowledge about educational aims and contexts, students, learning and evaluation, as well as knowledge about principles and strategies of classroom management and organisation.

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