The Effects of Teacher Content Authoring on TPACK and on Student Achievement in Algebra: Research on Instruction with the TI-Nspire™ Handheld

The Effects of Teacher Content Authoring on TPACK and on Student Achievement in Algebra: Research on Instruction with the TI-Nspire™ Handheld

Irina Lyublinskaya (College of Staten Island/CUNY, U.SA) and Nelly Tournaki (College of Staten Island/CUNY, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-750-0.ch013
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A year-long PD program was provided to four NYC integrated algebra teachers. The PD comprised of teacher authoring of curriculum that incorporated TI-Nspire™1 technology. Teacher TPACK levels were measured through a TPACK Levels Rubric, created and validated by the authors. The rubric was used to assess the teachers’ written artifacts (lesson plans and authored curriculum materials) and observed behaviors (PD presentations and classroom teaching through observations). Results indicated that, first teachers’ TPACK scores for written artifacts paralleled those of PD presentations. Second, the classroom teaching was either at the same level or lower than written artifacts. Third, teachers did not improve with every lesson they developed; instead, their scores vacillated within the two or three lower TPACK levels. Finally, the students taught by the teachers with higher TPACK level had higher average score on the NYS Regents exam and higher passing rates.
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Despite the sizable number of emerging technologies for teaching mathematics, few teachers have had the experience of utilizing them in the classroom. In fact, many mathematics teachers are themselves novices in the domain of pedagogical technologies, and could therefore greatly benefit from a program designed specifically to develop their Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge (TPACK). Such a program would help them to think strategically in planning, organizing, implementing, and critiquing a curriculum that integrated technology in guiding student learning with specific content. Furthermore such a program would aim to meet the needs of all the students in a given class, regardless of their initial proficiency in the subject (Mishra, & Koehler, 2006; Niess, 2008). Professional Development (PD) would be one way to ensure that teachers acquire TPACK.

In this chapter we describe a study of a year-long PD program provided to four teachers teaching integrated algebra in a New York City public school. The context of the PD was the authoring by the teachers of a curriculum incorporating TI-Nspire technology. TI-Nspire is a low-cost personal handheld computing device for mathematics and science supporting a broad range of instructional models as well as a number of advanced modes of assessment. Three important layers of analysis provide the basis for research in the use of the TI-Nspire: (1) Effectiveness. Graphing calculators enhance student learning (Ellington, 2003; Khoju, Jaciw, & Miller, 2005). (2) Enhanced representation and communication of important mathematics. TI-Nspire’s linked representations help teachers to focus student attention on the relationships among multiple representations, such as algebraic equations, geometric constructions, graphs, and tables of data. (3) Deeper opportunities to learn. By using the new document features of TI-Nspire, teachers would find they can almost certainly increase the time in the classroom students spend doing mathematics in an environment possessing the ingredients that promote success - namely, increased support for mastering difficult concepts and skills, high student participation, and tools for reflective practice. Finally, TI-Nspire capabilities extend beyond the familiar graphing calculator. Additional instructional models allow teachers to support project-based learning, engage in participatory simulations, and encourage students to build mathematical models. The need remains to build cumulatively on our existing understanding of teaching secondary mathematics with graphing calculators. By developing PD programs that concentrate not only on teachers integrating technology into their teaching but also on their actually authoring their own materials that need can be directly addressed.

Given the unique characteristics of the PD program we developed, we were able to test the following research questions:

  • 1.

    To what extent is a designed model of PD in which teachers author original materials that integrate TI-Nspire technology associated with changes in teachers’ TPACK levels as measured by external assessment of teaching artifacts (lesson plans and TI-Nspire documents) and observed behaviors (classroom teaching and PD presentations)?

  • 2.

    Is there a relationship between a teacher’s TPACK level and student achievement?



In this section we provide background information on the PD model used in the study. We discuss first the importance of the teacher content authoring. We then review the context of the study i.e., the role within it of the TI-Nspire technology. Lastly we provide background on our two dependent variables, namely, TPACK and student achievement.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Robert N. Ronau, Christopher R. Rakes, Margaret L. Niess
Robert N. Ronau, Christopher R. Rakes, Margaret L. Niess
Chapter 1
Margaret L. Niess
Technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge (TPACK) is a dynamic lens that describes teacher knowledge required for designing, implementing, and... Sample PDF
Teacher Knowledge for Teaching with Technology: A TPACK Lens
Chapter 2
Matthew J. Koehler, Tae Seob Shin, Punya Mishra
In this chapter we reviewed a wide range of approaches to measure Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK). We identified recent... Sample PDF
How Do We Measure TPACK? Let Me Count the Ways
Chapter 3
Thomas C. Hammond, R. Curby Alexander, Alec M. Bodzin
The TPACK framework provides researchers with a robust framework for conducting research on technology integration in authentic environments, i.e.... Sample PDF
Assessment in Authentic Environments: Designing Instruments and Reporting Results from Classroom-Based TPACK Research
Chapter 4
Robert N. Ronau, Christopher R. Rakes
In this study, we examine the validity of the Comprehensive Framework for Teacher Knowledge (CFTK) through a systematic review and meta-analysis.... Sample PDF
A Comprehensive Framework for Teacher Knowledge (CFTK): Complexity of Individual Aspects and Their Interactions
Chapter 5
Lynn Bell, Nicole Juersivich, Thomas C. Hammond, Randy L. Bell
Effective teachers across K-12 content areas often use visual representations to promote conceptual understanding, but these static representations... Sample PDF
The TPACK of Dynamic Representations
Chapter 6
Erica C. Boling, Jeanine Beatty
This chapter informs teacher educators and individuals involved in teacher professional development about the tensions that frequently arise when... Sample PDF
Overcoming the Tensions and Challenges of Technology Integration: How Can We Best Support our Teachers?
Chapter 7
John K. Lee, Meghan M. Manfra
To address the myriad effects that emerge from using technology in social studies, we introduce in this chapter the concept of vernaculars to... Sample PDF
TPACK Vernaculars in Social Studies Research
Chapter 8
Stephen J. Pape, Karen E. Irving, Clare V. Bell, Melissa L. Shirley, Douglas T. Owens, Sharilyn Owens, Jonathan D. Bostic, Soon Chun Lee
Classroom Connectivity Technology (CCT) can serve as a tool for creating contexts in which students engage in mathematical thinking leading to... Sample PDF
Principles of Effective Pedagogy within the Context of Connected Classroom Technology: Implications for Teacher Knowledge
Chapter 9
Christopher J. Johnston, Patricia S. Moyer-Packenham
Multiple existing frameworks address aspects of teachers’ knowledge for teaching mathematics with technology. This study proposes the integration of... Sample PDF
A Model for Examining the Criteria Used by Pre-Service Elementary Teachers in Their Evaluation of Technology for Mathematics Teaching
Chapter 10
Joseph M. Piro, Nancy Marksbury
With the continuing shift of instructional media to digital sources occurring in classrooms around the world, the role of technology instruction in... Sample PDF
Technologizing Teaching: Using the WebQuest to Enhance Pre-Service Education
Chapter 11
Travis K. Miller
This chapter details a theoretical framework for effective implementation and study of technology when used in mathematics education. Based on... Sample PDF
A Theoretical Framework for Implementing Technology for Mathematics Learning
Chapter 12
David A. Slykhuis, Rebecca McNall Krall
In this review of recent literature on the use of technology to teach science content, 143 articles from 8 science education journals were selected... Sample PDF
Successful Implementation of Technology to Teach Science: Research Implications
Chapter 13
Irina Lyublinskaya, Nelly Tournaki
A year-long PD program was provided to four NYC integrated algebra teachers. The PD comprised of teacher authoring of curriculum that incorporated... Sample PDF
The Effects of Teacher Content Authoring on TPACK and on Student Achievement in Algebra: Research on Instruction with the TI-Nspire™ Handheld
Chapter 14
Robert N. Ronau, Christopher R. Rakes
This chapter examines issues surrounding the design of research in educational technology and teacher knowledge. The National Research Council... Sample PDF
Making the Grade: Reporting Educational Technology and Teacher Knowledge Research
About the Contributors