This study explores the changes in the conceptions of pedagogical content knowledge (Shulman, 1986'0) of student teachers during training. The focus of
geographical education in Hong Kong is shifting from imparting knowledge to developing skills of geographical enquiry, requiring geography teachers to rethink
their pedagogical content knowledge to reflect this change of emphasis. This poses a particular problem for student teachers with limited understanding of what is
involved. In the transition from training to full time teaching, geography student teachers undergo and must undergo changes in their individual understanding
about planning and conducting lessons.
The aims of this study were: (I) to explore the pattern and variations of student teachers' conceptions of pedagogical content knowledge for teaching secondary
school geography; (2) to identify the factors influencing thinking and changes in conceptions; and (3) to develop a schema to synthesise the development of their
geographical pedagogical content knowledge. A qualitative-interpretive research approach, adopting a phenomenographic perspective, was used. The data came
from recursive, in-depth interviews with three student teachers conducted at various points during the two years of their training.
The study demonstrated that the conceptions of the student teachers shifted in varying ways and to varying degrees during training, as their pedagogical content
knowledge grew. Conceptions of pedagogical content knowledge were viewed in terms of teachers' use of concepts to explain phenomena, their choice of teaching methods in relation to pupils and images of teaching. The three teachers exhibited seven conceptions of pedagogical content knowledge, ranging from the simple transmission of text to the development of structured ideas appropriate to pupil understanding, and the integration of content and method. Their conceptions were influenced by a number of factors, including their own past learning,