Accounting for Pedagogical Content Knowledge in a Theory of Change Analysis

Authors: Tom Mcklin, Taneisha Lee, Dana Linnell Wanzer, Brian Magerko, Doug Edwards, Sabrina Grossman, Emily Bryans Dobar, Jason Freeman


Educators have long claimed that pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), ways of presenting a subject that make it comprehensible to others, is a critical element of student academic success. This paper presents an exploratory study finding that PCK significantly correlates with students’ computer science (CS) content knowledge acquisition while teacher CS content knowledge does not. This study analyzes systemic factors comprising the theory of change for the EarSketch learning intervention including classroom- and student-level factors that contribute to shifts in students’ attitudes toward computing and ultimately to students’ intentions to persist in future computing endeavors and students’ CS content knowledge. We present the results of a multi-level modeling analysis and offer an exploratory approach to measuring CS PCK along with recommendations to improve the sensitivity of the method.

Mcklin, Tom & Lee, Taneisha & Wanzer, Dana & Magerko, Brian & Edwards, Doug & Grossman, Sabrina & Dobar, Emily & Freeman, Jason. (2019). Accounting for Pedagogical Content Knowledge in a Theory of Change Analysis. 157-165. 10.1145/3291279.3339412.

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