Contextual Influences on Science Teachers' TPACK Levels

Contextual Influences on Science Teachers' TPACK Levels

Kofi Acheaw Owusu, Lindsey Conner, Chris Astall
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8403-4.ch012
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The contextual factors influencing teachers' use of technology as well as teachers' Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) levels were investigated through multiple embedded case studies of five science teachers who were regular users of technology in their teaching. The case studies reported in this chapter revealed that teachers used technology to support inquiry learning through a wide range of ways in lower levels of high school but mostly to clarify concepts and theories for senior level students. This chapter identified that teachers demonstrated different TPACK levels of expertise and engagement in the use of technology when transferring different types of knowledge from one teaching and learning context to another and for addressing differences amongst learners. The context of assessment driven teaching influences science teachers' TPACK for integrating technology in instruction. The chapter noted that having teachers actively evaluate the effectiveness of the technology on students' learning may help increase teachers' TPACK levels.
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The debate about technology in education has shifted from whether it should be used in the classroom to the challenges for integrating technology into teaching and learning (Angeli, 2005; Sutherland, Facer, Furlong, & Furlong, 2000). Earlier attempts to use technology in teaching and learning focussed on teaching technology skills to preservice teachers (Angeli & Valanides, 2005; Thompson & Mishra, 2007). However, educators have recognized that the acquisition of technology skills alone is not effective in the pursuit of teaching (Angeli & Valanides, 2009; Chai, Koh, & Tsai, 2010; Graham et al., 2009; So & Kim, 2009) or preparation to teach (Hardy,2010) with technology. Angeli and Valanides (2009, p. 157) identified that “technology in and of itself is not a transformative mechanism…rather a tool invoked by its users to reconstruct the subject matter from the knowledge of the teacher into the content of instruction.” Successful technology integration, as argued by Harris and Hofer (2009), is not dependent on the smart use of new or emerging educational technologies but rather influenced by curriculum content and the processes through which students engage with such content.

Key Terms in this Chapter

TPACK Levels: Teachers’ levels of conceptualization on how to use technology in their teaching.

High School: Years 9-13 of the New Zealand school system.

Technology: Emerging and digital tools that enhance and facilitate everyday activities of people.

Context: Peculiar and distinctive circumstances that pertain to an event, situation, environment, etc.

Junior Classes: Years 9-10 of the New Zealand high school system.

Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK): The knowledge construct required for effective teaching of specific content with technology.

Senior Classes: Years 11-13 of the New Zealand high school system.

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