Designing an Educational Program for Teachers Based on TPACK Principles and Wikis

Designing an Educational Program for Teachers Based on TPACK Principles and Wikis

Nikolaos Karipidis (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece) and Jim Prentzas (Democritus University of Thrace, Greece & University of Patras, Greece)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4516-4.ch001
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In this chapter, an approach to the design of an educational program for teachers is proposed. Three main steps are necessary in the design of such a program. The first step is to determine the goals of the program and connect them with the subsequent teaching goals of teachers. Further on, the knowledge and skills required in order to fulfill the goals set need to be determined. The final step concerns the selection of appropriate pedagogical methods and ICT tools that will assist teachers in their teaching. In the specific program, the goals set are based on Habermas' theory of cognitive interests and Schön's theory of the reflective practitioner. The TPACK model is used to categorize the desired knowledge that teachers will acquire from the program and the knowledge required by the instructor of the program. Wikis are used to support the selected pedagogical methods.
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A significant factor affecting the quality of education is the knowledge possessed by teachers. Most of the researchers agree that teachers with more knowledge are proved to be more effective in their teaching (Darling-Hammond, 2000). Furthermore, teaching practices evolve through time and so does the knowledge required from teachers. Therefore, it is considered necessary to educate accordingly in-service teachers. The education of in-service teachers is an important field in adult education (Baecher & Chung, 2020; Kassner & Cassada, 2017; Voss et al., 2017).

In this context, an important aspect concerns teachers’ knowledge about the successful integration of technology in educational settings. This is due to the fact that technology plays an increasingly important role in all levels of formal education from early childhood to higher education (Prentzas, Hatzilygeroudis, & Koutsojannis, 2001; Prentzas, 2013; Prentzas & Theodosiou, 2013; Voogt, Knezek, Christensen, & Lai, 2018). However, how to integrate technology in education is not always straightforward (Roblyer & Doering, 2013). Karipidis and Prentzas (2016) categorized the various factors that affect the successful integration of technology in education and a corresponding category of factors involves teachers themselves. For instance, such factors are teachers’ attitudes about technology, their experience in using and integrating technology, their self-efficacy involving technology use, their education in using technology and the teaching approaches they endorse. This means that the education of teachers in integrating technology in their educational settings plays an important role. For this purpose, several adult education approaches addressed to in-service teachers employ (or are based on) technological resources (Kassner & Cassada, 2017; Voss et al., 2017).

Koehler and Mishra (2005) suggested the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) model in their effort to organize the knowledge every teacher needs to possess in technology-enhanced learning environments. Various researchers presented approaches involving TPACK and in-service teachers. Such research work intends to enhance in-service teachers’ TPACK and/or to educate in-service teachers using TPACK-based approaches (Baran, Canbazoglu-Bilici, & Uygun, 2016; Niess, 2019; Niess & Gillow-Wiles, 2019). The reported results were encouraging regarding the improvement in the teaching skills and knowledge of teachers. However, certain researchers pointed out the need to define more clearly the context of every field of TPACK and to educate teachers in the practical implementation of the model (Cox & Graham, 2009).

This chapter aims to contribute to the handling of the above issues. An example is used to clarify the way in which TPACK can adapt to the specific needs of an educational situation and contribute to the achievement of the corresponding goals. The specific example involves the design of an educational program for teachers based on TPACK principles and wikis.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Wiki: An environment enabling collaborative content creation using a Web browser. The history of actions is retained enabling restoration of previous content versions and recording of users’ contributions.

Cognitive Interests: The knowledge humans produce is partially defined by the interests that motivates them and which are discerned into technical, practical, and emancipatory interests.

Reflective Practitioner: The practitioner who develops using reflection to acquire knowledge and experience giving him/her the ability to choose the appropriate action for handling an arisen problem.

Learning Theory: A theory explaining how learning is attained. It may involve individual learners, groups of learners, the overall context and learning resources.

Web-Based Learning: A type of learning employing Web-based technologies. It may concern individuals or learning communities.

Learning Community: A group of learners that have the same learning goals and closely interact and collaborate to achieve them. The corresponding learners share common values and have a sense of belonging to the community.

Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK): A framework concerning the knowledge required by teachers in order to integrate successfully technology in educational settings. It includes three main forms of knowledge (i.e., Pedagogical Knowledge, Content Knowledge and Technological knowledge) and those that lie at their intersections.

Collaborative Learning: A type of learning in which learners learn by collaborating with each other. Knowledge is created through active interaction among learners and their participation in shared activities.

Online Learning Community: A type of learning community whose members employ Internet technologies to interact and collaborate.

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