To assist in professional capacity and expertise in the ECS faculty, ECS endorses specialized teaching as a foundational feature to its framework. Shulman and his colleagues argued, “high quality instruction requires sophisticated professional knowledge that goes beyond simple rules” (1987).
- An expert teacher in the content area facilitates student learning in that content area, while also drawing connections to real world application of knowledge. Pedagogical content knowledge is needed for effectively teaching a subject. In the past, ECS educators have been “generalists,” and unable to develop deep content knowledge in a subject area without sacrificing another core practice. ECS advocates that teachers need opportunity to focus on the “work of teaching,” specifically, what content knowledge needs to be understood in order to appropriately instruct and explore a concept with learners. Specialized teaching allows teachers to focus on content while also building effective practice in the profession.
Content area teachers will engage in focused professional growth opportunities that support job satisfaction and teacher effectiveness. Using specialized teaching, educators have the opportunity to focus professional growth in a specific area, and directly impact students with increased knowledge and expertise. As expertise develops, teachers build job satisfaction and ECS can retain highly effective, quality teachers.