Creating an Environment for Pre-Service Teachers to Develop Technical Pedagogical and Content Knowledge

Creating an Environment for Pre-Service Teachers to Develop Technical Pedagogical and Content Knowledge

Chun Hu (University of Sydney, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-074-3.ch010

Abstract

This chapter reports a teacher education program in applying the framework of TPACK to the design of its ICT curriculum: the design principles employed, its implementation and a formative evaluation. A survey adapted from Schmidt et al. (2009) was administered at the beginning and completion of the course. The post-course survey showed an increase in pre-service teachers’ self-reported ratings in all three types of knowledge, namely technological knowledge, technological pedagogical knowledge, and technology, pedagogy and content knowledge. Although majority (53.1%) of the pre-service teachers favored the approach of learning technology through engaging in design projects, many suggested that more structured instruction would benefit their learning.
Chapter Preview
Top

Background

TPACK is an extension of pedagogical content knowledge (Shulman, 1986). While pedagogical content knowledge focuses on the development of understanding of how students learn specific content areas – their perceptions of the content being learned, common misconceptions that they have about the content, and teaching approaches that can maximize students learning; TPACK focuses on the “the connections, interactions, affordances, and constraints between and among content, pedagogy, and technology” (Mishra & Koehler, 2006, p. 1025).

TPACK emphasizes on teachers’ understanding of how technologies, particularly information and communication technology (ICT), can be used effectively as a pedagogical tool (Koehler & Mishra, 2006). In other words, TPACK converges complex interplay of three bodies of knowledge (1) pedagogical content knowledge (Shulman, 1986), (2) technological content knowledge (knowing what kind of technology tools is available for teaching what), and (3) technology pedagogical knowledge (being able to choose an ICT tool based on its affordances to address a particular teaching/learning need). To develop TPACK, teachers not only need to know how to use computer and software, but also be aware of the strategies to incorporate ICT tools to enhance student understanding of particular subject content.

This chapter reports a teacher education program’s effort in applying the framework of TPACK in the design of its ICT curriculum: the design principles employed, its implementation, and a formative evaluation. The formative evaluation attempts to answer four questions:

  • 1.

    To what extent did the new curriculum help improve pre-service teachers’ technological knowledge (TK)?

  • 2.

    To what extent did the new curriculum help improve pre-service teachers’ technological pedagogical knowledge (TPK)?

  • 3.

    To what extent did the new curriculum help improve pre-service teachers’ technological pedagogical and content knowledge (TPACK)?

  • 4.

    What did pre-service teachers think of the approach of learning-technology-by-design?

Top

Creating An Environment For The Development Of Tpack

A fatal problem with traditional pre-service teacher ICT training is that often technology is nominated as an answer to the problem which is unknown (Guri-Rosenblit, 2005). Prior to 2009, Information Technology in Education, a 20-hour compulsory course for Master of Teaching (MTeach hereafter) students at the University of Sydney focused on the development of the technical skills that were presumably needed by pre-service teachers. Specifically, the curriculum focused on three skills: (1) database creation, (2) mail merge, and (3) webpage creation. Students learned the required skills in tutorials and completed an assignment for each specific technical skill for assessments. Little connection was made deliberately to link the technical skills learned to how they could be used in teaching/learning process in classroom contexts. As for assessment tasks, students had the freedom in choosing the contents for each of their assignments. For mail merge, most students would create an imaginary class list using Microsoft Excel, and a letter in Microsoft Word, from which they would generate a letter to parents. For webpage creation, students normally chose to create a personal website or a website that disseminated some kind of information (not always curriculum related).

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset