The Refined Consensus Model of Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Science Education

Janet Carlson*, Kirsten R. Daehler, Alicia Alonzo, Erik Barendsen, Amanda Berry, Andreas Borowski, Jared Carpendale, Kennedy Chan, Rebecca Cooper, Patricia Friedrichsen, Julie Gess-Newsome, Ineke Henze-Rietveld, Anne Hume, Sophie Kirschner, Sven Liepertz, John Loughran, Elizabeth Mavhunga, Knut Neumann, Pernilla Nilsson, Soonhye ParkMarissa Rollnick, Aaron Sickel, Jeekjung Suh, Rebecca Schneider, Jan Van Driel, Chris Wilson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


This chapter chronicles the developmental journey of a model for teacher pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) in science education, now identified as the Refined Consensus Model (RCM) of PCK, that represents the contributions and collective thinking of two dozen international researchers in science teacher education. This journey starts by recounting the process that led to an update and significant revisions to the model of teacher professional knowledge and skills including PCK (informally known as the 2012 Consensus Model (CM)). Then, we unpack and describe the different components of the model in both diagrammatic form and in explanatory text. The RCM describes the complex layers of knowledge and experiences that shape and inform teachers’ practice and mediate student outcomes. A key feature of this model is the identification of three distinct realms of PCK—collective PCK, personal PCK, and enacted PCK. These realms are used to situate the specialised professional knowledge held by different science educators in different settings ranging from the collected knowledge understood by many to the unique subset of knowledge an individual teacher draws upon. The model also recognises that the broader professional knowledge bases are foundational to teacher PCK while the learning context a teacher is working in can greatly influence the teaching and learning that takes place.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRepositioning Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Teachers' Knowledge for Teaching Science
EditorsAnne Hume, Rebecca Cooper, Andreas Borowski
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9789811358982
ISBN (Print)9789811358975
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2019


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