MESHGuides are welcome in all areas relevant to teaching and learning. That there are thousands of concepts to be grasped by the well qualified teacher can be seen by a quick examination of the indexes in the Routledge Learning to Teach in the Secondary School textbook series and other similar texts for primary and vocational subjects.

MESHGuides are welcome which focus on general and subject specific pedagogical knowledge and subject content knowledge, and particularly on barriers to learning which lead to underachievement. Shulman’s forms of professional knowledge for teaching provide a useful guide to areas covered.

Forms of Professional Knowledge for Teaching
(adapted from Shulman, 1987 cited in Capel, S., Leask, M. & Turner, T. (2019, 8th edition) Learning to teach in the secondary school: a companion to school experience. Abingdon: Routledge)

  1. General Pedagogic Knowledge i.e. the broad principles and strategies of classroom management and organisation that apply irrespective of the subject.
  2. Subject Content Knowledge i.e. the subject material that is to be taught. Schwab (1964) identifies two components of content knowledge: substantive: knowing what are the most important concepts and skills in the subject, and syntactic: knowing how the concepts and skills are structured and organised within a subject.
  3. Subject Pedagogic  Knowledge i.e. the knowledge of what makes for effective teaching and deep learning that is the basis for the selection, organisation and presentation of the content teachers want their students to acquire. This includes diagnosis and intervention strategies to overcome barriers to learning and misconceptions.
  4. Technology Pedagogic Knowledge (subject specific and general)i.e. the knowledge of how to use digital technology to accelerate learning in the subject and in learning in general.
  5. Curriculum Knowledge i.e. the materials and the programmes that serve as ‘tools of the trade’ for teachers.
  6. Knowledge of Learners and their Characteristics i.e. knowledge of learners of a particular age range (empirical or social knowledge), and cognitive knowledge of learners, comprising of child development and knowledge of a particular group of learners.
  7. Knowledge of Educational Contexts i.e. including specific school, catchment area and the wider community, including national and international contexts of current and emergent issues for education e.g. globalization, citizenship, use of ICT to support learning.
  8. Knowledge of Educational Ends (aims) i.e. purposes, values and philosophical and historical influences: both short and long term goals of education and of a subject.


Capel, S. Leask, M. & Turner, T. (2019) Learning to teach in the secondary school: a companion to school experience Abingdon: Routledge and associated texts in every subject area.
Schwab, J.J. (1964), Structure of the disciplines: meanings and significances in G. W. Ford and L. Pugno (Eds.) The structure of knowledge and the curriculum New York: Rand McNally p.1-31
Shulman, L.S. (1987), Knowledge and teaching: Foundations of the new reform. Harvard Educational Review, 57(1), p.1-22