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Performance assessment to investigate the domain specificity of instructional skills among pre‐service and in‐service teachers of mathematics and economics
Jeschke, C., Kuhn, C., Lindmeier, A., Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia, O., Saas, H., Heinze, A.

Performance assessment to investigate the domain specificity of instructional skills among pre‐service and in‐service teachers of mathematics and economics

British Journal of Educational Psychology. DOI: 10.1111/bjep.12277, Open Access

Key elements of instructional quality include the teacher's ability to immediately react in domain‐specific classroom situations. Such skills – defined as action‐related skills – can only be validly assessed using authentic representations of real‐life teaching practice. However, research has not yet explained how teachers apply domain‐specific knowledge for teaching and to what extent action‐related skills are transferable from one domain to another.
Our study aims to examine (1) the relationship between action-related skills, content knowledge, and pedagogical content knowledge, and (2) the domain specificity of action-related skills of (prospective) teachers in the two domains of mathematics and economics.
We examined German pre‐service and in‐service teachers of mathematics (N = 239) and economics (N = 321), including n = 96 (prospective) teachers who teach both subjects.
Action‐related skills in mathematics and economics were measured using video‐based performance assessments. Content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge were assessed using established paper–pencil tests. Correlation analyses, linear regressions, and a path model were applied.
In mathematics and economics, we find a similar pattern of moderate correlations between action‐related skills, content knowledge, and pedagogical content knowledge. Moreover, a significant correlation between action‐related skills in mathematics and economics can be explained almost entirely by underlying relations between content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge in both domains.
Our findings suggest that action-related skills empirically differ from domain-specific knowledge and should be considered as domain-specific constructs. This indicates that teacher education should not only focus on domain-specific teacher knowledge, but may also provide learning opportunities for action-related skills in each domain.