TPACK: A Framework for Teacher Knowledge

Misha, P., Koehler, M.J. (2006). Technology pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for integrating technology in teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-1054.

The authors proposed a conceptual framework¬†as a way of thinking about effective technology integration and specifically the knowledge associated with integrating technology effectively into learning environments. Constructed as an extension of Shulman’s (1986) formulation of “pedagogical content knowledge”, the Mishra and Koehler framework is known as Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge or TPACK. This model showcases the interweaving of all three key sources of knowledge: technology, pedagogy, and content. As highlighted in the article, there is a critical need to have a conceptually based theoretical framework about the relationship between technology and teaching that can transform the conceptualization and practice of teacher education, teacher training and teacher professional development (p. 1019). Especially so, since teaching is a complex cognitive skill occurring in a dynamic, interrelated and sometimes ill-structured environment.

This model has revolutionized how some teachers, districts and higher-education organizations view, support and justify technology integration. High-quality teaching requires a deep understanding of the complex relationship that exists between pedagogy, content and technology. Also, there is no one-size-fits-all with regard to technology solutions for classroom teaching and learning. Mishra and Koehler suggest that TPACK serves as a great resource to guide the design of curriculum in an approach they call learning technology by design. The authors suggest that this framework allows teachers to tease apart some of the key issues that are necessary for scholarly dialogue about educational technology classroom integration (p.1046). Having a better handle on how technology supports the learning environment can afford students better opportunities to transcend the passive learner role and instead take control of learning through authentic and engaging ill-structured problems that reflect a complexity of the real world (p. 1035).

Personally, I have been training teachers on integrating technology into their classrooms for over nine years. My first year in the position, I continued the district-driven, skills-based approach to teacher technology training. In year two, I quickly realized that teaching just the technology tool skills had little to no impact back in the classroom even though that’s exactly what the teachers wanted. Through a variety of learning frameworks including TPACK, the district moved to a messy professional development model that is content-driven, pedagogically supported and technologically enhanced. Teachers come to training to have the tough conversations, work on their perceptions and/or fears, developed sound instructional units and “play” around with the content-pedagogy-technology relationship. We still have a long way to go as a district, but we are having the best and deepest conversations about effective technology integration these past couple of years. TPACK is a great conceptual framework that our teachers can reference, easily relate to and work through to construct new ways to teach and learn.

 

 

 

 

On My Mind…TPACK Model

This week’s EDU800 readings revolved around the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge developed by Punya Mishra and Matthew J. Koehler (2005). Their framework most famously known as TPACK was built to understand and describe the kinds of knowledge that teachers need to employ for effective pedagogical practice in a technology enhanced or mediated learning environment. The TPACK framework examines the relationships between pedagogy, content and technology. The articles listed below provide a point of view about the TPACK contextual factors through the lens of specific grade levels, departments or programs:

  • Blackwell, C., Lauricella, A., Wartella, E. (2016). The influence of TPACK contextual factors on early childhood educators’ tablet computer use. Computers & Education, 98, 57-69.
  • Jang, S., Tasi, M. (2013). Exploring the TPACK of Taiwanese secondary school science teachers using a new contextualized TPACK model. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 29(4), 566-580.
  • Olofson, M., Swallow, M., Neumann, M. (2016). TPACKing: A constructivist framing of TPACK to analyze teachers’ construction of knowledge. Computers & Education, 95, 188-201.
  • Smith, S. (2013/2014). Through the teacher’s eyes: Unpacking the TPACK of digital fabrication integration in middle school language arts. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 46(2), 207-227.
  • Wetzel, K., Marshall, S. (2011-12). TPACK goes to sixth grade: Lessons from a middle school teacher in a high-technology-access classroom. International Society for Technology in Education, 28(2), 73-81.