“If anything is to be regarded as a specific preparation for teaching, priority must be given to a thorough grounding in something to teach.” (Peters, 1977)
Helping students learn subject matter involves more than the delivery of facts and information. The goal of teaching is to assist students in their development of intellectual resources that enable them to participate in, not merely to know about, major domains of human thought and inquiry. Understanding entails being able to use intellectual ideas and skills as tools to gain control over everyday, real-world problems. A conceptual mastery of subject matter and the capacity to be critical of knowledge itself can empower students to be effective in their environment.
What teachers need to know about the subject matter so that their teaching extends beyond the specific topics of their curriculum? They must not only be capable of defining the facts for the students, but also its cause, importance, and relation to other facts. A history teacher, for example, in addition to knowing dates of important events and people of the past, must also understand what history is; the nature of historical knowledge and what it means to find out or know something about the past. This kind of subject-matter understanding strengthens the teacher’s powers and, in doing so, heightens the possibilities of her art.
“According to common belief, graduating teacher candidates lack adequate subject-matter preparation, but they will develop deeper knowledge as a result of having to explain it to others. In fact, we have little assumption to support this fact.” (Ball and McDiarmid, 1990)
It is clear that relying totally on classroom practice for improving subject-matter knowledge is not a wise choice hence in-service intervention as ‘Subject Matter Workshops’ is a choice that
‘Indus Learning’ wishes to exercise on behalf of teachers and for teachers by organizing Subject Matter based Workshops for peer interaction as well as enhancing subject matter skills through exchange of ideas with experienced teacher trainers.