Content Expert

The William and Mary School of Education recognizes that educators must have specific knowledge as well as a deep and confident understanding of subject material. That being said, concrete understanding of a subject alone will not promote student learning. To teach students requires content expertise as well as pedagogical knowledge. When combined, pedagogical content knowledge uses teaching methods, processes, and practices, to teach students the subject.

In order to embody the first strand of the School of Education's conceptual framework, I have completed a major in history. Living up to my school's proud tradition of producing well rounded, educated students, I diversified my knowledge. Taking courses in American history, World history, and regional histories (East Asian, Latin America, British), I have prepared myself for the content expertise required of a social studies teacher.

A successful teacher is more than familiar with the content they teach. For students to develop understanding and knowledge requires that their instructor be well versed in the subject. To only learn what is required or acceptable is a disservice to students. Content expertise is driven by passion, a passion which students need to see in order to value instruction. In my experience it has been the anecdotes, stories, and personality of history that builds learning and encourages valuing. A standardized test may not ask students about Peter the Great trimming beards or collecting a beard tax from his Boyars, but it works toward the objective that students will understand Peter was autocratic and sought to modernize and westernize his country.

As a teacher I will unite my role as content expert with pedagogical expert and succeed in the classroom.