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Conceptualizing content-related PD facilitator expertise
S. Prediger, B. Roesken-Winter, R. Stahnke, B. Pöhler

Conceptualizing content-related PD facilitator expertise

Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education

Studies of facilitators of professional development (PD) for mathematics teachers have been increasing in order to improve their preparation for conducting PD. However, specifications of what facilitators should learn often lack a conceptualization that captures facilitators’ expertise for different PD content. In this article, we provide a framework for facilitator expertise that is in line with current conceptualizations but makes explicit the content-related aspects of such expertise. The framework for content-related facilitator expertise combines cognitive and situated perspectives and allows unpacking different components at the PD level and the classroom level. Using two illustrative cases of different PD content (probability education in primary school and language-responsive mathematics teaching in secondary school), we exemplify how the framework can help to analyze facilitators’ practices in content-related ways in a descriptive mode. This analysis reveals valuable insights that support designers of facilitator preparation programs to specify what facilitators should learn in a prescriptive mode. We particularly emphasize the importance of working on content-related aspects, unpacking the PD content goals into the content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge elements on the classroom level and developing facilitators’ pedagogical content knowledge on the PD level (PCK-PD), which includes curricular knowledge, as well as knowledge about teachers’ typical thinking about a specific PD content. Situated learning opportunities in facilitator preparation programs can support facilitators to activate these knowledge elements for managing typical situational demands in PD.