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Although research on pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) has accelerated in recent years, social studies educators have not generally been part of the conversation. This article explores why a theory of PCK for social studies has been so difficult to elaborate, focusing on the field’s inability to come to consensus on its aims and purposes and on a pervasive distrust of traditional academic disciplines and scholarship they produce. These factors have helped make the effective preparation of social studies teachers, something researchers studying PCK hope to improve, exceptionally difficult. This article proposes that if the field can resolve its relationship to the disciplines, a more coherent conceptualization of teacher education in social studies could come into focus. Such a reconceptualization could help position social studies teacher educators to contribute to the knowledge base on PCK, particularly with regard to the transformation of disciplinary content into school curriculum.



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