Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

Knowledge of concepts and substance

About this Illustration of Practice

A graduate teacher reflects on how important it is for her to 'know the content' during a teaching placement. Such content knowledge involves a detailed knowledge of the texts the students have been studying in their year 9 English class, as well as the ability to contextualise these thematically and philosophically. The teacher has had to undertake additional research to gain the knowledge that she believes the students expect of her. Her supervisor is supportive of her delivery of the knowledge of the concepts and substance of the content area.

Standard 2
Know the content and how to teach it
Focus area 2.1
Content and teaching strategies of the teaching area
Career stage
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area.
  1. How could you link the main content of your lesson to other texts or areas of study?
  2. What additional research could you do in order to better teach your students?
  3. How could more open discussions benefit your students and your classroom practice?
MacRobertson Girls’ High School
Year level
Year 9
Related subject
Stage of schooling
School type
School location
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MacRobertson Girls’ High School is a select entry government school in Melbourne. In a teaching placement at year 9, a graduate teacher has observed her supervisor's ability to link the study of a text to other texts that the students have studied, as well as to philosophical ideas. Because the year 9 learning environment created by her supervisor seems similar to a university tutorial she feels that she can use many of the attributes of the latter in engaging the learners.

Content provider
AITSL Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership

© Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), 2012 (except where indicated under acknowledgements). You may use, reproduce and adapt this material for educational purposes until 30 June 2019, provided you retain this notice and all acknowledgements associated with the material.