In this article we report about a study to assess Dutch teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge (\small PCK), with special focus on programming as a topic in secondary school Informatics education. For this research, we developed an online research instrument: the Online Teacher \small PCK Analyser (OTPA). The results show that Dutch teachers' \small PCK scores between low and medium. Also we enquired whether there is any relation between teachers' \small PCK and the textbooks they use by comparing the results of this study with those of a previous one in which the \small PCK of textbooks was assessed. The results show that there is no strong relation. Finally, we looked for trends between teachers' \small PCK and their educational backgrounds, as most of the Dutch teachers have a different background than Informatics. The results show that also in this case there is no strong relation.
Informatics is currently being taught in high schools all over the world. In the Dutch curriculum, computer literacy is taught in the lower grades as a compulsory subject, Informatics is taught as an elective in the higher grades of some schools. As a follow-up to the outline of Grgurina and Tolboom (2008), the discussion about the future of Informatics education in the Netherlands is investigated and elaborated in this paper. Our research brings forward four positions of the stakeholders in the field: the negative-critical view, the positive-realistic view, the no-nonsense view and the innovative view. Extreme positions are either `to terminate the school subject, because teachers are not qualified and there is little relation with Informatics as a scientific discipline', or `to strengthen the school subject because of its social relevance'. The latter position will be substantiated by a discussion of the novice-expert approach for teaching and the importance of enculturation and situated learning. As a way to strengthen secondary Informatics teaching, especially in the Netherlands, Schoenfeld's framework is advised (Schoenfeld, 2010).
The goal of this literature study is to give some preliminary answers to the questions that aim to uncover the Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) of Informatics Education, with focus on Programming. PCK has been defined as the knowledge that allows teachers to transform their knowledge of the subject into something accessible for their students. The core questions to uncover this knowledge are: what are the reasons to teach programming; what are the concepts we need to teach programming; what are the most common difficulties/misconceptions students encounter while learning to program; and how to teach this topic. Some of the answers found are, respectively: enhancing students' problem solving skills; programming knowledge and programming strategies; general problems of orientation; and possible ideal chains for learning computer programming. Because answers to the four questions are in a way not connected with each other, PCK being an unexplored field in Informatics Education, we need research based efforts to study this field.