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Education Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 790417, 23 pages
Review Article

Developing Pedagogical Content Knowledge: Lessons Learned from Intervention Studies

Centre for Instructional Psychology and Technology, KU Leuven, Dekenstraat 2, Postbox 3773, 3000 Leuven, Belgium

Received 21 May 2015; Revised 16 July 2015; Accepted 27 July 2015

Academic Editor: Leonidas Kyriakides

Copyright © 2015 Marie Evens et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) is generally accepted as positively impacting teaching quality and student learning. Therefore, research on PCK development in (prospective) teachers is highly relevant. Based on a search in three databases (ERIC, PsycInfo, and Web of Science), a systematic review is conducted on intervention studies aiming at PCK development. The research questions are threefold: (1) How are the studies designed? (2) How are the interventions designed? and (3) What elements of interventions contribute to PCK development? The results show that most intervention studies are conducted in math and science education and use a qualitative methodology. Reflection, PCK courses, contact with other teachers, and experiences in educational practice are typically part of effective interventions. The review enables the identification of clear guidelines that may strengthen future research on stimulating PCK.