Conceptualising and measuring domain-specific content knowledge of early childhood educators: A systematic review
|content knowledge; domain-specific learning; early childhood education; Education & Educational Research; teacher knowledge
|REVIEW OF EDUCATION
The role of domain-specific content knowledge is discussed controversially for the early childhood context. Therefore, this review aims at untangling the research on domain-specific content knowledge for early childhood educators by systematically reviewing the conceptual and operational definition of and results on early childhood educators' content knowledge in different domains. Using the scientific databases ERIC, PsycInfo and Web of Sciences, we identified 36 studies on early childhood educators' domain-specific content knowledge. By comparing these studies, we found that conceptualizations of early childhood educators' content knowledge move on a continuum between a scientific related perspective and a practice related perspective. The scientific related perspective defines content knowledge as the knowledge of key concepts, facts and rules of the domain integrating knowledge taught in primary, secondary or upper secondary school. The practice related perspective includes knowledge of key concepts, facts and rules of the domain limited to the knowledge explicitly relevant for teaching in early childhood education as well as selected domain-specific knowledge of children and teaching. Our review shows that the results and implications drawn by the study authors depend on how these authors conceptualize early childhood educators' content knowledge on this continuum. Further research, therefore, needs to consider carefully how early childhood educators' content knowledge is conceptualized. The paper further discusses gaps in this research field, such as validating methods for measuring early childhood educators' content knowledge or implementing more rigorous experimental designs to examine effects of early childhood educators' content knowledge.
Show full item record