Understanding Teachers' Knowledge: A Case Study in Brazil
The main objective of this exploratory study was to verify how high school teachers acquire and use knowledge in the classroom context. The methodological approach was qualitative. The techniques used to collect data were semi-structured individual interview and participant observation. The participants of the study were three high school teachers from a public school at Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil. Findings showed that although teachers emphasize the importance of their professional development, they face two serious problems related to the acquisition of knowledge. The first is related to financial conditions. They affirm that the courses are very expensive and their salaries are very low. The other is directly related to the nature of the teachers´ work itself and the school organization. The school is not structured to provide a continuing education based on teachers' interests and needs. The pedagogical content knowledge is very important for them, but they use a very traditional conception of teaching and learning, that is; transfer of information through lectures, trying to teach students the most important concepts of their subject matter.
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