The education professional understands the structure, skills, core concepts, and methods of inquiry of the discipline(s) taught or practiced, is convinced of the worth of the discipline or subject, and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful to students.
Content knowledge is the basis for almost all elements of teaching, beginning with planning and moving to choosing instructional techniques, implementing instructional strategies, and performing assessments. Effective professionals must have an understanding of the structure, skills, core concepts, and methods of inquiry of the discipline(s). They must know the discipline(s) and be familiar with instructional materials and resources that are comprehensive, accurate and appropriate so that they can create lessons that help students relate new information to what they already know. They must be able to select and to sequence learning goals and activities that are consistent with the nature of the discipline(s) and at an appropriate level of difficulty for the learner. They are familiar with a variety of viewpoints, examples, and explanations in order to involve students in testing hypotheses, interpreting ideas, and generating knowledge based on diverse perspectives. Finally, effective professionals know how to help students integrate knowledge, skills and methods of inquiry across several subject areas.