donderdag 20 oktober 2011

Explaining TPACK; What is it?

As I mentioned in my last blog teaching requires integration of many kinds of specialized knowledge.
hat’s what TPACK (Technological Pedagogical And Content Knowledge) is about!
Koehler and Mishra (2009) developed the TPACK framework, see figure 1. The framework describes the knowledge teachers need to have to effective integrate technology into their education. The knowledge domains in the framework are: content knowledge (CK), pedagogical knowledge (PK) and technological knowledge (TK).
Figure 1: TPACK framework (Koehler & Mishra, 2009)

Content knowledge consists of knowledge about a certain subject that needs to be teached, like mathematics. The pedagogical knowledge consists of in-depth knowledge about educational processes and operations or methods/strategies of teaching and learning. Technological knowledge is knowledge about what kinds of technologies are available, how they work and how they can be used to make teaching more effective.
The interactions between these components of knowledge result in; pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), technological content knowledge (TCK), technological pedagogical knowledge (TPK) and technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK).
Pedagogical content knowledge is knowledge about how to combine pedagogy and content in an effective way. Therefore the teacher has to know how to make the subject understandable for different types of students. Technological content knowledge is knowledge about how technology and content interact. Teachers have to know how a deeper understanding of certain content can be supported by using technology. They also have to realize that not every technology is suitable for each subject. And that it’s sometimes necessary to change the lesson/subject to make it appropriate to use technology. Technological pedagogical knowledge is the understanding of how teaching and learning changes when using technology. Teachers need to be able to use technologies in a pedagogical way. This includes knowledge of how several technological tools can support or limit certain pedagogy.
Integrating all these components results in Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge. This knowledge goes beyond all three components and involves the interaction of the content, pedagogical and technological knowledge. TPACK can be seen as the basis of effective teaching with technology. Therefore the teacher has to understand the way in which these knowledge domains are related and how to keep a balance between them. As I already mentioned in my previous blog it's like the Spiderweb of Van den Akker (2003). When one of the components is changed, this has direct consequences for the other components.
To successful integrate technology in education the teacher also needs knowledge about the specific context in which learning takes place (student population, the schools infrastructure, school environment etc.), because the context can influence the integration of the technology (Voogt, Fisser & Tondeur, 2010). There is no one size-fits-all approach, because teachers operate in a diverse context. For example, certain technologies like smarphones are probably less suitable to use when teaching very young children.

An example!
Last year I followed a course called ‘Atelier 5’. In this course we created a step-by-step guide for teachers that they can use when designing a mobile learning tour. In this process we also thought about the different components of the TPACK model and what they mean in case of mobile learning.

Content knowledge – Knowledge about the subject matter.
Pedagogical knowledge – Appropriate pedagogies for mobile learning are constructivism and immersion. The knowledge concerns background information of these theories and also how to apply these theories into the classroom.
Technological knowledge – Knowledge about how to operate a smartphone and the opportunities it offers.
Pedagogical content knowledge – Knowledge about which content is appropriate to teach with mobile learning according to the pedagogical approach.
Technological content knowledge – Knowledge and skills to select applications that suit the subject of the lesson.
Technological pedagogical knowledge – Knowledge and skills to select applications that suit the pedagogy. Selecting applications that support aspects of constructivism like collaboration.

In yesterdays lecture we got the assignment to design a lesson and think about all the different aspects of the TPACK model. Unless I had a bit experience, it was quite hard to take all aspects into account. And we also realized that teachers have to be very creative to combine pedagogy, content and technology in an appropriate way.
What is your interpretation of the different components of the TPACK model? Do you agree with me or do you have another interpretation?
Please feel free to write a comment!
P.s. My next post will be about the added value of TPACK.


Akker, J. van den (2003). Curriculum perspectives: An introduction. In J. van den Akker, W. Kuiper &   U. Hameyer, Curriculum landscapes and trends. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Koehler, M. J., & Mishra, P. (2009). What is technological pedagogical content knowledge?      Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1), 60-70. 
Voogt, J., Fisser, P. & Tondeur, J. (2010). Maak kennis met TPACK. Hoe kan een leraar ICT integreren   in het onderwijs? Zoetermeer: Stichting Kennisnet.

1 opmerking:

  1. You state that "we also realized that teachers have to be very creative to combine pedagogy, content and technology in an appropriate way.". I think this is a very important notion. We do have to realize that it is not always that simple to be TPACK-teachers and that it is more than "just adding technology"!