Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 1999 Issue »

    Good Readers, Good Teachers?

    Subject Matter Expertise as a Challenge in Learning to Teach

    Diane Holt-Reynolds
    In this article, Diane Holt-Reynolds critically examines the importance placed on subject matter expertise in the training of secondary school teachers. Recognizing that knowledge of subject matter has been a major concern in national calls for education reform, Holt-Reynolds explores the role that such knowledge plays in a prospective teacher’s conceptualization of skillful and successful teaching. Through a case study of Mary, one subject matter expert enrolled in a college-level teacher training program, Holt-Reynolds demonstrates how, for this teacher, subject matter expertise does not translate into an understanding of how to model that expertise or share it with students. Providing extensive data to support her identification of Mary as an expert reader, she then shows how Mary fails to see her expertise as learned and suggests that this failure causes Mary’s expertise to be “unavailable” for teaching literature as a subject. Drawing on her conclusions from this case study, Holt-Reynolds expands the definition of subject matter expertise to include an awareness of that expertise as learned. She ends with a clear challenge for teacher educators to help prospective teachers recognize their subject matter expertise and learn ways to share and model it with students.

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    Spring 1999 Issue

    Abstracts

    Opportunities and Obstacles in the Competency-Based Training of Primary Teachers in England
    Denis Hayes
    Good Readers, Good Teachers?
    Subject Matter Expertise as a Challenge in Learning to Teach
    Diane Holt-Reynolds
    Further Comment - Hollow Theory: A Reply to Rajagopalan
    Gary Thomas
    Essay Review - Questioning Core Assumptions: A Critical Reading of and Response to E. D. Hirsch’s The Schools We Need and Why We Don’t Have Them
    Kristen L. Buras

    Book Notes

    Critical Education in the New Information Age
    By Manuel Castells, Ramón Flecha, Paulo Freire, Henry A. Giroux, Donaldo Macedo, and Paul Willis

    Whose Judgment Counts?
    By Evangeline Harris Stefanakis

    Good Education
    By Ivor A. Pritchard

    The Curriculum
    Edited by Landon E. Beyer and Michael W. Apple

    And There Were Giants in the Land
    By John A. Beineke

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