What do we know about the pedagogical content knowledge of history teachers: A review of empirical research

Hanneke Tuithof, Albert Logtenberg, Larike Bronckhorst, Jannet Van Drie, Leen Dorsman, Jan Van Tartwijk


PCK is seen as the knowledge that is needed for the transformation of content knowledge to pedagogical products and teaching strategies for specific students. To explore research on history teachers’ Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) in secondary education, 34 empirical studies, published between 1987 and 2015, are systematically reviewed. The conceptualization and operationalization of PCK and sources for PCK development are analysed. Results show that most studies use qualitative methods with small sample sizes. Research often lacks a systematic definition of PCK. Most of the analyzed articles discuss the PCK about disciplinary strategies and focus on knowledge of instructional strategies. PCK of novice history teachers appears to be influenced by other sources than the PCK of experienced teachers. We conclude by suggesting further research and possibilities for teacher training.


Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK); History Teaching; History Teachers.

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Copyright (c) 2021 Hanneke Tuithof, Albert Logtenberg, Larike Bronckhorst, Jannet Van Drie, Leen Dorsman, Jan Van Tartwijk

Historical Encounters is a double blind peer-reviewed, open access, interdisciplinary journal dedicated to the empirical and theoretical study of historical consciousness, historical cultures, and history education.

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ISSN 2203-7543