Page: 182-197 Author: Píšová, M. Key words: subject matter didactics, communicative approach to subject matter didactics, tea-ching - learning - content, teacher as a creator and mediátor ofeducational content, knowledge ofthe scientific disciplině and pedagogical content knowledge
We háve recently witnessed growing atten-tion to the category of educational content in Czech educational discourse. This has been prompted by several developments, the most important of which is definitely the erisis of school education caused - inter alia - by the reduction of the content of school learning. The ongoing curricular reform seems to be a good opportunity for change. It is gener-ally acknowledged that the key agent of any change in education - including the success of our curricular reform - is the teacher. This raises the need for fundamental changes in the area of both initial and further education of teachers - changes that would be based on the emancipation of subject matter didactics as their keystone. The article therefore aims to pro vide deeper insight into one of cardinal didactic areas, content of education.
Teaching and learning processes together with the subject matter to be learnt háve always been among the centrál problems of education. The text focuses specifically on the models/conceptions that most significantly influence current Czech didactic thinking. The starting point here is the communicative approach to subject matter didactics in the sense formulated by J. Brockmeyerová-Fen-clová, V. Čapek, J. Kotásek (2000, p. 30-35), i.e. as communication of knowledge of a scientific disciplině. In addition to disciplině knowledge we also look at two main topics: the learner and ‚the language‘. The former, i.e. the learner (and the perspective of sociál constructivism), is emphasised in the Model of Didactic Reconstruction (Jelemenská, Sander, Kattmann, 2003, p. 190-201), while the topič of ‚language‘ has been systemati-cally developed by J. Slavík and T. Janík. Their scheme of a „meaningehannel“ in a semantic area spread between learner and expert pro-vides an illustrative view of their semantic approach. This perception of didactics as an epistemological analysis of the scientific disciplině is dosely linked to Shulman‘s concept of pedagogical content knowledge. Viewed from the teacher‘s perspective, a question may thus be posed: to what extent is the teachers pedagogical content knowledge ‚sateď by his/her expert knowledge of the relevant scientific disciplině? In other words, in what way does a teacher acquire the ability to ‚translate‘ (Slavík, 2003a) which enables him/her to meet with learners in the field of educational content?
An answer to this question was sought in a čase-study, the story of an expert teacher. In view of the narrative character of pedagogical content knowledge, the method ušed in the study was the unstructured narrative interview: (5 interviews, complete dura-tion 4 hours and 49 minutes). Subsequent content analysis of this data identified three main analytical categories: professional knowledge and its development; teacher beliefs; teacher professional knowledge in the learning/teaching processes. The results indicate that the respondent perceives her expert knowledge of the scientific disciplině as a certain background which, however, remains absolutely un-reflected in the proc-esses of both ontodidactic and psychodi-dactic transformation. Her awareness of this ‚potential‘ for her own teaching is very low - the respondent seemed unable to ex-plain the role of her disciplině knowledge in teacher expertise. The content and also the ‚language‘ for teaching seems to be created and developed anew predominantly on the basis of textbooks, and also ones own experience - initially as a learner, later in reflection of her teaching practice. Only at this point is the dialogue with a learner over the subject matter recognised as a source of professional development and as an approach to learning/ /teaching.
Our čase study could only address one of the range of school subjects, specifically English (as a foreign language); in this sense the findings are domain-specific. However, other research projects conducted abroad háve had similar results - whether they focused on novices or experts in the profes-sion in various (not onlyphilological) school subjects (see e.g. Bennett, 1993, pp. 9-14; also Vonk, 1993, p. 36; Loewenberg-Ball, Feiman-Nemser, 2005, pp. 189-200, etc). This leads us to suggest that we are dealing with a more generál issue, common to all do-mains. The conclusions may then represent a serious conceptual challenge for subject matter didactics and so for teacher education programmes.