This post is intended to serve as a gateway to a range of readings and other resources to support teaching about the Marcellus Shale and the larger energy system, but before simply posting a list of linked resources, some background is needed as to the types of knowledge needed to effectively teach this content.
Part 1, this post, is the introduction to the kinds of knowledge needed to teach the Marcellus Shale. Part 2 will include a list of readings and other resources for building that knowledge.
What do you need to understand to teach about the Marcellus Shale? Part 1 of 2: Marcellus Shale PCK
A piece of the Marcellus Shale from Seneca Stone Quarry, Fayette, NY.
The special knowledge and skills needed to teach
Effective teaching of course requires understanding of the subject matter at hand, but subject matter knowledge alone isn't sufficient for someone to become a good teacher. Almost anyone with a college degree has sat through enough classes to have experienced at least one smart teacher or professor who knew the content well yet was simply a poor teacher.
Most of us have experience with this before leaving high school.
In order to be an effective teacher, you have to know how to teach. To put it in the language of the discipline of education, you have to understand pedagogy. And, you can't deeply understand pedagogy in a way that stands apart from the content you wish to teach. You have to understand the special skills and knowledge that are needed for teaching your subject. That's a recognition that the skills and knowledge a math teacher needs to be effective are different from the skills and knowledge an English teacher needs, and that the difference is more than a difference in content knowledge. In the language of education, this is Pedagogical Content Knowledge, or PCK (Shulman, 1986, 1987).
Neither an English teacher nor an engineer needs to understand the variety of ways to solve the mathematical problem, 23 x 37, but a math teacher does. A medical researcher doesn't need to know common misconceptions related to the understanding of evolution, or how to address controversial issues in the classroom, but a biology teacher certainly does. These are examples of PCK.