Subject-Specific Demands of Teaching: Implications for Out-of-Field Teachers

  • Cosette CrisanEmail author
  • Linda Hobbs


This chapter provides a framework for thinking about the subject-specific nature of teaching in terms of the knowledge, modes of inquiry and discursive practices that delineate one subject from another in the traditional school curriculum. The chapter will explore how these disciplinary traits are translated into teaching as curriculum, knowledge and pedagogy, and how this subject-specificity of teaching is juxtaposed against the more generic aspects of teaching. The chapter explores the idea that if a teacher’s expertise can be situated within a field, then they can also be positioned out-of-field. Implications for teaching out-of-field are discussed in terms of the subject-specific knowledge, processes and skills, and the difficulties associated with teacher practice. English and Australian illustrations of teacher practices from in-field and out-of-field situations are provided, in particular highlighting the demands of moving across subject boundaries. Cross-fertilisation is especially evident when subjects are integrated, therefore, the issues associated with integrated curriculum are discussed where the traditional subject boundaries are being challenged as schools are reorganised to integrate subjects through, for example, STEM teaching, or holistic curriculum designs.


Subject-specific knowledge for teaching Modes of inquiry Subject boundaries Generic descriptions of pedagogy 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University College LondonLondonEngland, UK
  2. 2.Deakin UniversityWaurn PondsAustralia

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