Dissertation project “Pedagogical Content Knowledge of (Future) Teachers in Business and Economics: Theoretical Modeling, Test Development, and Validation”

Time span: 10/2009 – 09/2012

Funding: Federal Ministry for Education and Research (01JG0928)

Research on pedagogical content knowledge of (future) teachers, which is relevant for the teaching situation, is becoming more and more important. In the field of business administration (domain of business and economics), however, there is still no acceptable concept defining what is to be understood as pedagogical content knowledge, which is why there is also still a lack of suitable measuring instruments. The aim of this project was to develop a domain-specific model of pedagogical content knowledge and to assess it in an empirically valid way. To this end, we first developed a structural model based on content and cognitive analyses, which then served for the development of the test. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, the paper-pencil test (including closed and open-ended tasks) was subjected to extensive empirical testing and validation with regard to the underlying theoretical assumptions. Apart from expert interviews (used to determine the relevance of the content) and cognitive interviews (used to analyze the thinking processes during item processing), we also conducted a quantitative survey in 2011, administering the test to students of business education, student teachers, and experienced teachers of the subject business and economics from vocational training institutions (N=338). On this basis, we conducted further analyses, focusing on the structure and scaling of the test (using confirmatory factor analyses and the Rasch model for ordinal data) and on aspects of criteria and discriminant validation, among others. For this second purpose, the test was also administered to two contrast groups: students of business and economics (N=58) and (future) teachers of subjects other than business and economics (N=48).

A selection of publications:

Kuhn, C., Alonzo, A. C., & Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia, O. (2016). Evaluating the pedagogical content knowledge of pre- and in-service teachers of business and economics to ensure quality of classroom practice in vocational education and training. Empirical Research in Vocational Education and Training, 8(5). doi:10.1186/s40461-016-0031-2

Happ, R., Kuhn, C. & Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia, O. (2016). Effects of the structural and curricular changes following the bologna reform in Germany on the content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge of student teachers of business and economics. In B. De Wever, R. Vanderlinde, M. Tuytens, & A. Aelterman, (Eds.), Professional learning in education – Challenges for teacher educators, teachers and student teachers (pp. 203–223). Gent: Academia Press. http://www.oapen.org/search?identifier=639595

A selection of (international) presentations

Kuhn, C. (2013). Pedagogical content knowledge of future and experienced business and economics teachers: Validity aspects of a newly developed test instrument. Paper presentation at the ECER 2013 Conference on Creativity and Innovation in Educational Research, September 11th. Istanbul (Turkey).

Kuhn, C. (2013). Pedagogical content knowledge in business and economics: Test development and validation. Paper presentation at the 15th Biennial EARLI 2013 Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction, August 30th. Munich (Germany).

Kuhn, C. (2013). Development of pedagogical content knowledge among business and economics teachers – measuring influences on professionalization. Paper presentation at the 16th Biennial ISATT 2013 Conference on Teachers and Teaching, July 3rd. Ghent (Belgium).

Kuhn, C. (2011). Assessing didactic competence: Developing a measuring instrument in the domain of business and economics. Paper presentation within the session "Competence measurement and modeling" at the EARLI JURE conference, August 30th. Exeter (UK).

Kuhn, C. (2010). Modeling of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) - A prerequisite for measuring PCK in teacher education. Poster presentation at the 5th EARLI SIG Assessment Conference (SIG 1), „Assessment for Learners" September 2nd. Northumbria (UK).


Kuhn, C. (2013). Fachdidaktisches Wissen von (angehenden) Lehrkräften im kaufmännisch-verwaltenden Bereich – Modellbasierte Testentwicklung und Validierung [Pedagogical Content Knowledge of (Future) Teachers in Business and Economics: Theoretical Modeling, Test Development, and Validation]. Landau: Empirische Pädagogik. (in press)


Editor: Christiane Kuhn

Project manager: Prof. Dr. O. Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia

Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz

Chair of Business Education

Jakob-Welder-Weg 9

D-55009 Mainz

Phone: +49 (0)6131 39 23723

Fax: +49 (0)6131 39 22095