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The awareness and explication of disciplinarity across four senior-secondary subject areas

  • Van Bergen, Penny
  • Bahr, Nan
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2009
Queensland University of Technology ePrints Archive
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This paper issues a challenge to the notion of domain-general teaching and learning, positing that different subject areas require distinct approaches to developing student knowledge and understanding. The aim has been to observe and compare awareness and explication of disciplinarity in four senior secondary school subjects: Biology, History, Music and Physics. Specifically, we were interested in: (1) teachers’ concepts of what it means to ‘know the discipline’, to ‘think like a disciplinary expert’ and to ‘teach and learn the discipline’; and (2) how teachers draw these concepts together to build student knowledge in the classroom. The research informs educational practice and policy, in particular curricular initiatives involving interdisciplinary curricula.


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