Teacher Knowledge for Teaching with Technology: A TPACK Lens

Teacher Knowledge for Teaching with Technology: A TPACK Lens

Margaret L. Niess (Oregon State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-750-0.ch001
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Technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge (TPACK) is a dynamic lens that describes teacher knowledge required for designing, implementing, and evaluating curriculum and instruction with technology. TPACK strategic thinking incorporates knowing when, where, and how to use domain-specific knowledge and strategies for guiding students’ learning with appropriate digital, information, and communication technologies. This chapter maps historical responses to the question of the knowledge that teachers need for teaching amid the emerging views of and challenges with TPACK. A review of empirical progress serves to illuminate potential insights, values, and challenges for directing future research designed to identify a teacher’s learning trajectory in the development of a more robust and mature TPACK for teaching with current and emerging information and communication technologies.
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Teacher Knowledge: A Historical View

What knowledge do teachers need for teaching? Responses to this question have evolved over the past centuries, with significant changes at the beginning of the 20th century (Parkay & Stanford, 2008). Up through the 19th century, the prevailing notion was that teachers needed to know the content they were to teach. This view shifted to the importance of knowing how to teach; teachers needed to be prepared to implement new teaching and learning (or pedagogical) practices along with an even more in depth understanding of the content they were planning on teaching (Grimmett & MacKinnon, 1992; Parkay & Stanford, 2008). The late 1980s signaled another significant shift in views on this question. Shulman (1987) challenged teacher educators and researchers to reconsider the knowledge that teachers need indicating that, at a minimum, teacher knowledge included:

  • Content knowledge

  • General pedagogical knowledge

  • Curriculum knowledge

  • Pedagogical content knowledge

  • Knowledge of learners

  • Knowledge of educational contexts

  • Knowledge of educational ends, purposes, and values

Among these more extensive knowledge domains, pedagogical content knowledge (or PCK) was identified as the knowledge that represented “that special amalgam of content and pedagogy that is uniquely the province of teachers, their own special form of understanding … of how particular topics, problems, or issues are organized, represented, and adapted to the diverse interests and abilities of learners, and presented for instruction” (Shulman, 1987, p. 8).

This identification of teacher knowledge (Wilson, Shulman, & Richert, 1987) was markedly different from previous views, resulting in extensive research and scholarly discussion about the nature of PCK and the types of programs needed to adequately prepare teachers such that they develop this knowledge (Gess-Newsome, J., 2002; Niess, 2005). At my institution, this change encouraged the faculty to redesign the science and mathematics teacher preparation program to explicitly develop this more comprehensive teacher knowledge called PCK. Figure 1 provides the visual description we used to guide the program redesign. This visual recognized the importance of multiple knowledge domains of teacher knowledge - learners, pedagogy, curriculum, subject matter, and schools (describing the educational contexts, ends, purposes and values) - as being a complex and interconnected whole with PCK at the hub connecting all the domains. As a result, this graduate level, content-specific teacher preparation program was focused on an integration of the multiple domains of knowledge viewed as integral to teaching and learning science and mathematics (Niess, 2001). Courses contained subject-specific pedagogical modeling rather than a generic pedagogy class. The emphasis was to have the preservice teachers think about and reflect upon the multiple domains as they investigated each topic or assignment. The overall goal was to guide the preservice teachers in developing an integrated, interconnected knowledge for teaching that incorporated PCK.

Figure 1.

Visual display of the relationships and interactions of the six teacher knowledge domains

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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