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Challenges to Pedagogical Content Knowledge in lesson planning during curriculum transition: a multiple case study of teachers of ICT and Computing in England.

HIDSON, ELIZABETH,FRANCES (2018) Challenges to Pedagogical Content Knowledge in lesson planning during curriculum transition: a multiple case study of teachers of ICT and Computing in England. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF (Final corrected thesis) - Accepted Version


In September 2014 the new National Curriculum programmes of study for Computing became mandatory in England, replacing Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as a school subject and introducing Computer Science into schools. This posed a challenge for in-service ICT teachers without Computer Science subject knowledge: teachers needed to develop both subject and pedagogical knowledge to make the transition from teaching ICT to teaching Computing.

This multiple case study explores teachers’ perceptions of the curriculum change and how they have responded in practical and pedagogical terms to planning lessons aligning with the new programmes of study. Nine teachers participated, each of whom had been teaching ICT pre-2014. The study used semi-structured interview questions while teachers engaged in lesson-planning activities, captured mostly using desktop-sharing via internet telephony. A modified version of Shulman’s pedagogical reasoning framework and Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) facilitated analysis of teachers’ pedagogic practices in lesson planning.

The study shows teachers’ concerns about the lack of clarity surrounding the curriculum change, and the lack of access to suitable professional development (CPD). Most highlighted the primacy of programming and Computer Science at the expense of Information Technology and Digital Literacy, the other two strands of the new curriculum.

The study also shows the dynamic nature of lesson planning. Knowledge deficits slowed down the fluency of teachers’ lesson-planning processes, but the use of lesson materials created by others helped them to develop PCK. The term transitional pedagogical reasoning has been used to describe the process by which unfamiliar but necessary concepts are assimilated into the pedagogical reasoning process while the teacher develops sufficient subject knowledge and PCK.

Recommendations have been made for Computing curriculum policies to recognise and promote Computing pedagogy. This understanding should underpin initial teacher education in Computing, CPD for in-service teachers, and strategic development of the subject in the longer term.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Education
Keywords:ICT; Computing; Computer Science; Shulman; PCK; lesson-planning; teachers; pedagogical reasoning; curriculum change; subject knowledge
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2018
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:23 May 2018 10:52

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