Pedagogical Content Knowledge Project

Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) encompasses carefully selected analogies, examples, explanations and demonstrations used by a teacher to make a topic comprehensible to students. It includes an understanding of what makes the big ideas difficult to grasp, along with an awareness of common misconceptions. A useful paper describing PCK for tertiary chemistry is Bucat, Chemistry Education: Research and Practice, 2004.

This project aims to collect PCK from experienced chemistry lecturers. To do so, participants are first introduced to the concept of PCK. They are then invited to express their own PCK for a specific chemistry topic using the CoRe framework developed by John Loughran and his colleagues. The full list of CoRe questions is found in this paper. Big ideas within tertiary chemistry teaching are being discussed as the organising principles for PCK.

As part of this project, all Federally funded projects in chemistry education since 1995 have been re-examined and their outcomes are being disseminated to encourage use of existing PCK. The list of projects with their reports and other materials is available here.

Support for this project has been provided by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching. The views expressed in this project do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching.

The project team for this project is Madeleine Schultz (then QUT, now Deakin University) and Gwen Lawrie (UQ). Project officers were Bronwin Dargaville and Chantal Bailey, whose work is gratefully acknowledged. For more information, please contact