A Model for Examining the Criteria Used by Pre-Service Elementary Teachers in Their Evaluation of Technology for Mathematics Teaching

A Model for Examining the Criteria Used by Pre-Service Elementary Teachers in Their Evaluation of Technology for Mathematics Teaching

Christopher J. Johnston (American Institutes for Research, USA) and Patricia S. Moyer-Packenham (Utah State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-750-0.ch009
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Multiple existing frameworks address aspects of teachers’ knowledge for teaching mathematics with technology. This study proposes the integration of several frameworks, including TPACK (Mishra & Koehler, 2006), MKT (Ball, Thames, & Phelps, 2008), and technology evaluation criteria (Battey, Kafai, & Franke, 2005) into a new comprehensive model for interpreting teachers’ knowledge of the use of technology for teaching mathematics: the T-MATH (Teachers’ Mathematics and Technology Holistic) Framework The study employed quantitative and qualitative methods to examine 144 pre-service elementary teachers’ evaluations of technology for future mathematics teaching. The proposed model and its application to this group of pre-service teachers suggest that there are multiple dimensions to understanding teachers’ knowledge of uses of technology for mathematics teaching, and that teachers’ self-identified evaluation criteria reveal the dimension in which their knowledge resides. Understanding teachers’ progressions through these dimensions may provide insights into the types of experiences that support teacher development of the knowledge necessary to teach mathematics using appropriate technologies.
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Pre-service elementary teachers come to mathematics methods coursework with a variety of backgrounds and experiences in using technology. Some identify themselves as extreme technology users, using multiple technologies regularly as an integral part of their daily lives. Other pre-service teachers are limited technology users. They may use email and basic software packages, but other technologies are not essential to their daily activities. Because technology knowledge varies among pre-service teachers, there are multiple factors that influence pre-service teachers’ selection and use of technology for mathematics teaching and learning. Typically experiences in mathematics methods courses introduce pre-service teachers to various types of technology tools for mathematics teaching. Pre-service teachers often create lesson plans which integrate technology, or they may evaluate technology tools for mathematics learning during their pre-service experiences.

This chapter proposes an integrated model of teachers’ use of technology for teaching mathematics and uses that model to examine pre-service teachers’ evaluations of technology for use in mathematics teaching. The chapter integrates relevant literature on technology for teaching mathematics including: TPACK (Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge) as it applies to the teaching and learning of mathematics (Mishra & Koehler, 2006; Niess, Suharwoto, Lee, & Sadri, 2006); the TPACK framework proposed by Mishra and Koehler (2007); the Domains of Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching (MKT) framework proposed by Ball, Thames, and Phelps (2008); and, the mathematics and technology evaluation criteria proposed by Battey, Kafai, and Franke (2005). We suggest that integrating these frameworks and evaluation criteria may help researchers better understand how pre-service teachers develop in their evaluation of technological tools for mathematics teaching. We then apply this model to the examination of a group of 144 pre-service teachers as they evaluated technology tools for their future teaching of elementary mathematics. From this analysis, we provide recommendations that teacher educators approach teacher training in the teaching of mathematics with technology as a more integrated and multi-dimensional task, which is more closely aligned with the characteristics of TPACK and MKT.

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