Editor speaks on her latest cutting-edge research in Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK)

Editor Spotlight: Margaret "Maggie" Niess

By IGI Global on Sep 6, 2017
Maggie Niess
Name: Margaret Louise Niess
Affiliation: Professor Emeritus of Mathematics Education at Oregon State University
Research Focus: Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK)

For more than two years, Dr. Margaret “Maggie” Niess has edited multiple publications with IGI Global, including the inaugural publication within the Research Insights collection, Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) Framework for K-12 Teacher Preparation: Emerging Research and Opportunities. Now, she dedicates much of her time to her work at Oregon State University’s College of Engineering’s Post Baccalaureate Computer Science programming class. In her free time, Maggie loves to walk through the Oregon rain and vacation in Mexico with her husband.

IGI Global was lucky enough to conduct an interview with the highly esteemed editor before her upcoming travels, in hopes to gain a better understanding of her passion… This is what we found:

What do you enjoy about conducting research in your field?

My field focuses on science and mathematics teacher preparation. This means that the majority of my teaching at the college level has been on guiding the development of teachers’ knowledge for teaching science and mathematics.  Thus, I am constantly searching for ways to guide teacher knowledge development in the courses that I teach.  Thus, the research I do focuses on the teaching that I am doing.  I often say that as a teacher educator, my research revolves around my teaching.  So, I am constantly conducting research while I am teaching.  And the results are directed at improving my teaching.  The dynamic interchange of teaching and research is what is great. Another aspect is that my research is primarily qualitative and that means I am constantly using more and more descriptive techniques - interviews and observations are critical.  What is great is that this work supports me in providing rich descriptions that lead to more and more hypotheses about ways to build teacher knowledge.  

What did you enjoy about publishing with IGI Global?

IGI Global provides so many avenues for publishing.  I have edited multiple handbooks for IGI and that process has allowed me to interact globally with educators for gathering the most current research in my field.  When IGI Global announced the possibility of writing for the Research Insights, I used that avenue to gather together the results of my research over an extended time period, that pulled together the research in a more useful format for teacher educators who are designing online teacher education.  Thus, the cumulative research becomes more useful for teacher educators.  Then IGI added the possibility of preparing a video in support of that book for Research Insights.  Such a production allowed a different avenue to provide specific research-based ideas for online teacher education.  In essence, what is great is that IGI Global consistently is identifying different and valuable ways for distributing research results; ways that are incredibly useful for educators.

Do you have any “fun facts” about yourself you can share with our readers?

When I completed my BS and MS, I decided that I was finished with schooling -   I was going to teach mathematics!  I taught at middle schools, high schools, community colleges, prisons and correctional institutions.  Through all of these experiences my desire to learn was rekindled.  Even though I thought I was “never-ever” going to go back to school, I determined that “never-ever” was 12 years and I returned for my PhD with the desire to teach teachers how to teach mathematics.   Then, my dissertation had the word “computer” in it and when I took my thesis for the dean’s signature, I was asked “Do you know about computers?” -  Well, it was 1979 but I was then hired by that Dean to begin my career in preparing teachers to teach with computing technologies.   What an exciting adventure that launched for the next 30 years.  Another Dean claimed that I was the “best two faculty members” in his college.  That shows how much I was enjoying teaching and do the research directed toward identifying the knowledge that teachers need for teaching with technologies.

Another fun fact is that when asked to design an Online Teacher Education program, I said, “Oh NO – I don’t know how to teach online!”  What I did though was to learn by teaching and researching, resulting in the identification of best instructional practices in online teacher education.  So, I guess you can see that the word NO means OK!
Many thanks to Dr. Niess for taking the time to share her renowned expertise in the growing field of TPACK. If interested in learning more about this growing field, please check out her publication her latest publications here.

Also, along with fellow professors Charoula Angeli and Henry Gillow-Wiles, Dr. Niess is currently editing the forthcoming title, Cases on Developing Teachers' Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) in the Digital Age, which is set to be released as part of the 2019 copyright year. They are now accepting proposals and for more information on this project and how to submit a chapter proposal, please visit:

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