Base from the image above, Shulman identified the seven categories of the knowledge base in teaching and they are the following:

  • content knowledge;
  • general pedagogical knowledge, with special reference to those broad principles and strategies of classroom management and organization that appear to transcend subject matter;
  • curriculum knowledge, with particular grasp of the materials and programs that serve as “tools of the trade” for teachers;
  • pedagogical content knowledge, that special amalgam of content and pedagogy that is uniquely the province of teachers, their own special form of professional understanding;
  • knowledge of learners and their characteristics;
  • knowledge of educational contexts, ranging from the workings of the group or classroom, the governance and financing of school districts, to the character of communities and cultures; and
  • knowledge of educational ends, purposes, and values, and their philosophical and historical grounds.

If we are going to look at the image again we will see that the six categories are under the umbrella of “pedagogical content knowledge”  or commonly known as PCK. PCK is very vital or of special interest for it identifies the distinctive bodies of knowledge for teaching. It represents the blending of content and pedagogy into an understanding of how particular topics, problems, or issues are organized, represented, and adapted to the diverse interests and abilities of learners, and presented for instruction. From here TPACK was created. Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) was built from Shulman’s idea of PCK. It attempts to capture some of the essential qualities of knowledge required by teachers for technology integration in their teaching.


At the heart of the image above, we can see clearly the complex interplay of three primary forms of knowledge: Content (CK), Pedagogy (PK), and Technology (TK).

  • Content Knowledge – about the actual subject matter that is to be taught. Teachers must know and understand the subjects that they teach, including knowledge of central facts, concepts, theories and procedures within a given field.
  • Pedagogical Knowledge – deep comprehension about the processes and practises or methods of teaching and learning and how it compasses among other things, overall educational purposes, values and aims. It is involved in all issues of student learning, classroom management, lesson plan development and implementation, lastly student evaluation.
  • Technology Knowledge – is awareness about standard technologies (e.g. books, chalk & blackboard, and more advanced technologies like the internet, digital video, overhead projectors, interactive whiteboards, smartboards etc.). It also involves the skills required in operating particular technologies this includes knowledge of operating systems, computer hardware and the ability to use standard sets of software tools like word processors, spreadsheets, browsers and e-mail.


Click to access shulman.pdf

Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A Framework for Teacher Knowledge by Punya Mishra & Matthew J. Koehler (Michigan State University)

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