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Teacher professional knowledge and classroom management: on the relation of general pedagogical knowledge (GPK) and classroom management expertise (CME)

Abstract

Due to the need for measurement instruments that allow an investigation of teachers’ situational cognition and thus go beyond the limited scope of classical paper-and-pencil-tests, we ask how a specific video-based measurement of teachers’ classroom management expertise can provide additional information when compared with an established paper-and-pencil-test that broadly covers mathematics teachers’ general pedagogical knowledge. For this, we apply the general pedagogical knowledge test previously developed in the Teacher Education and Development StudyMathematics (TEDS-M) comprising knowledge of structuring lessons (‘structure’); motivating students and managing the classroom (‘motivation/classroom management’); dealing with heterogeneous learning groups (‘adaptivity’); and assessing students (‘assessment’). Using test data of 188 novice teachers, advanced beginners, and expert teachers, we raise questions regarding the two tests’ (1) structural relations, (2) expert-novice differences, and (3) predictive validity. Findings: (1a) classroom management expertise can be empirically separated from general pedagogical knowledge, although the two constructs are positively inter-correlated (medium effect size), (1b) classroom management expertise is more highly correlated with pedagogical knowledge of classroom management than with pedagogical knowledge of ‘adaptivity’, ‘structure’, and ‘assessment’, (1c) classroom management expertise is more highly correlated with procedural pedagogical knowledge (cognitive demand ‘generate’) than with declarative pedagogical knowledge (cognitive demands ‘recall’ and ‘understand/analyze’), (2) novice teachers as well as advanced beginners are outperformed by expert teachers, and (3) classroom management expertise, compared with general pedagogical knowledge, is a stronger predictor for instructional quality aspects of classroom management as rated by students.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The LEK-R study has been funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, KO3947/3-2).

  2. 2.

    This group of 21 pre-service teachers was selected from sample (2), since they pursued a teaching career for primary and lower secondary level and thus had identical opportunities to learn in the area of general pedagogy during initial teacher education.

  3. 3.

    Due to the nature of the cognitive demand, justification of action is only measured by open-response-items, whereas the other two demands are measured both by open-response-items and by multiple-choice-items. However, to account for this, we conducted detailed item-analyses which are documented in König (2015b). Findings show there are no substantial effects the different formats have on correlational patterns.

  4. 4.

    To compare differences in height of correlations, the significance test proposed by Meng, Rosenthal, and Rubin (1992) was applied.

  5. 5.

    A model with six dimensions differentiating cognitive demands of the classroom management expertise in ‘accuracy of perception’, ‘holistic perception’, and ‘interpretation/justification of action’ did not converge due to the extremely high inter-correlation between ‘accuracy of perception’ and ‘holistic perception’.

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Correspondence to Johannes König.

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König, J., Kramer, C. Teacher professional knowledge and classroom management: on the relation of general pedagogical knowledge (GPK) and classroom management expertise (CME). ZDM Mathematics Education 48, 139–151 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11858-015-0705-4

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Keywords

  • Classroom management
  • General pedagogical knowledge
  • Teacher expertise
  • Video clips
  • Test
  • Assessment
  • Instructional quality