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The latest trend in teacher education is towards competency- based programs which focus on the specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes that teachers ought to develop in order to perform well on the job. One area of teacher competencies is knowledge of the subject-matter. Cooper (1973) calls this knowledge competency. Several writers have emphasized the mastery of subject-matter as an important component in teacher preparation. Bush (1954) says that students like teachers whom they regard as high in knowledge of subject; and pupil liking of teachers is related to pupil liking for the subject. Miller and Miller (1971) asked school adminstrators to rank order a list of 17 items representing personal qualities and professional competencies considered essential for teaching. There was unanimous agreement on the knowledge of the subject-matter in the teaching field as being most important for a successful classroom teacher. Vanderwerf (1958) says that there is some evidence to indicate that a relationship exists between what a teacher knows about his field and his success in teaching. Wade's study (1960) provides some evidence that teacher knowledge of reading skills and its application was related to pupils' gain in reading achievement. Menges (1975) also recommends knowledge of the subject-matter and its application as two important aspects of professional readiness.

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