New Directions in Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge Research: Multiple Perspectives
reviewed by Jackie Kim - August 03, 2017
Title: New Directions in Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge Research: Multiple Perspectives
Author(s): Myint Swe Khine
Publisher: Information Age Publishing, Charlotte
ISBN: 1681231042, Pages: 386, Year: 2015
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Edited by Dr. Myint Swe Khine, New Directions in Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge Research, is a book with an emphasis on the challenging mission of integrating technology into teaching in a pedagogically appropriate way. As the subject is an emerging area of study in the field of education, this book is framed as a call to improve the quality of teaching by uncovering the complex relationship between technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge (TPACK). The edited text aims to reach out to both research and practice communities who have struggled with the ambiguous definition of TPACK by critically engaging these communities with a presentation of current direction, trends, and approaches; conveying experiences and findings; and sharing reflections and vision to improve science and mathematics teaching and learning with the use of a TPACK framework.
The clear strength of the book is its focus on applicable empirical ideas, which are often erased from local and global discourse within the mainstream education contexts, by gathering applications of teacher training, course design, professional development, intervention strategies, and other complex educational issues. Although this book starts out with theoretical frameworks and perspectives of TPACK, it moves to the examination of science and mathematics teachers TPACK and discusses the investigation of pre-service teachers TPACK. Though its target disciplines are predominantly limited to science and mathematics, the TPACK design framework is applicable for other subject matters as well.
In my read, the most compelling chapter was Chapter Three, which offers a clear history and definition of TPACK. The authors start with the construct of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), which was employed extensively in the wide range of disciplines to tie the subject knowledge and teaching methods. PCK has been used to describe the way teachers transform subject matter knowledge into forms relevant for student learning (Shulman, 1987). Then they move to TPACK, a construct that was introduced by Mishra and Koehler (2006) who added a technology component by extending Shulmans PCK framework. The authors illustrate technology integration in the classroom with a three-circle Venn Diagram that includes content, context and pedagogy to introduce pre-service elementary teachers to the construct and components of PCK in order to ground their continuing development of PCK.
One weakness of the chapter is that some examples, particularly dealing with pedagogy and context, do not include newly emerging teaching paradigms such as BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology), the blended teaching approach, and the flipped classroom model. Although the title of the chapter, A Graphic Model for Designing Effective Lesson Plans Incorporating Technology, indicates that the incorporation of technology will be addressed, the authors omit technology in a PCK graphic model. They argue that technology is now part of pedagogy, context, and content; however, it would be more effective to focus on a key element of TPACK, such as pedagogy and technology, to explain the pedagogical meaning of technology activities in science lessons. Although the chapter does provide an easily remembered graphic organizer, it may be frustrating for pre-and in-service teachers to learn about TPACK due to its seven aspects.
Chapter Four discusses course design guidelines to personalize and humanize online education. The majority of Chapter Four is dedicated to listing issues around the impersonal aspects of online learning. It brings readers attention to the importance and possibilities of increasing online presence and instilling emotionality in online learning. The marriage between TPACK and humanization in online learning generates the recommended guidelines with the specified instruction on how to humanize online teaching. Chapter Five summarizes how Web 2.0 technology tools shift the paradigm of teaching and learning from didactic to self-directed, participatory, personalized, shared, knowledge-generating, community-based forms with six interrelated dimensions: participation, openness, interactivity, collaboration, sociability, and Web 2.0 as a learning platform. The chapter emphasizes that educators need to consider all of the formal and informal ways of schooling structure and process. Therefore, it is critical to see learning as a process of student engagement and social knowledge construction rather than a mere consumption of content knowledge supplied by instructors.
Chapter Six, which is an overview of current trends in measurement strategies of TPACK development, focuses on two studies involved in the TPACK development of pre-service teachers by examining pre-service teachers TPACK knowledge domains. Chapter Seven establishes an extensive literature review of the TPACK framework research on a global scale. Chapter Eight showcases successful professional development models showing how TPACK can be used as a professional development tool to develop teachers expertise in integrating technology into teaching. Chapter Nine discusses how two different educational technology programs foster TPACK development through curriculum modules that require teachers to consider pedagogy, student characteristics, learning differences, and diverse technology tools. Chapter Ten discusses a nationwide project in Australia that collected evidence on the lack of TPACK development of that nations teachers. This was done as a program evaluation to determine the impact of online curriculum modules within the realm of TPACK development.
Chapter Eleven, which could have been stronger, examines ongoing, self-directed forms of professional development by using online resources which many teachers already use to improve their practice. This chapter presents longitudinal case studies of the types of knowledge that science teachers search for on the Internet in terms of the TPACK framework and how self-directed knowledge from the Internet affects the daily practice of science teachers. The authors conclude that the Internet supports a more potentially customizable and immediate source of professional development than traditional models since the Internet offers pedagogical and technological knowledge that can be customized to a specific content field. Because this study was a phenomena exploration of teachers TPACK using the Internet, there were no specific guidelines to help teachers to gain TPACK development through the Internet.
In Chapter Twelve, the authors rationalize the use of video-based measurement to evaluate teachers TPACK. Arguing that videos can accurately and fully display the complexity of teachers instruction assisted by technology, the authors used an online questionnaire to measure teachers TPACK based on comments they made about microteaching videos. They also developed and validated a coding rubric designed to assess teachers analytical comments. The content of the rubric was not quite relevant to the TPACK framework; rather, it was related to teachers progression in teaching with technology.
Chapter Thirteen discusses a group of Greek pre-service teachers progression on TPACK development in curriculum implementation, student assessment and learning, and teaching with technology tools in mathematics with a brief mention of how they changed their viewpoints about integrating technology after a year of actual teaching. Chapter Fourteen introduces the Integrated Triadic Model (ITM), a teaching method that aims to prepare pre-service teachers for TPACK with a TPACK way of thinking. ITM combines three TPACK approaches, including learning by design, learning activity types, and reflective exercise. The authors clearly contrast current issues in social studies methods courses with their solutions to issues by offering empirical knowledge that others are able to replicate if they adopt the ITM approach. Chapter Fifteen investigates pre-service teachers perceptions of their TPACK competencies. Chapter Sixteen, the final section, presents case studies that are based on undergraduate student teachers observations of their supervising teachers instruction. This chapter would be more interesting if it were more aligned with the books proposed theme, the TPACK framework.
Upon reflection, this volume has great value to educators as it provides numerous empirical frameworks and examples for preparing our future educators. However, it also has a few shortcomings. For example, it was bothersome to read the theoretical background of the TPACK framework chapter after chapter. Rather, the editor should have managed the content of each chapter, which would have resulted in reducing the unnecessary redundancy of the book. Because this is a heavily research-based book with a particular topic, the target audience pool is limited to researchers who have specific interest in educational technology, particularly technology integration into teaching in a pedagogically appropriate way. Even with this limitation, the book is extremely timely, particularly now as the digital age changes the holistic way of learning. This book achieved its goal to inform both researchers and practitioners by discussing not only theoretical backgrounds but also presenting discipline-based empirical studies. This volume can be valuable as a textbook for an instructional technology graduate course where the cultivation of TPACK strategies is paramount.
Shulman, L. S. (1987). Knowledge and teaching: Foundations of the new reform. Harvard Educational Review, 57(1), 122.
Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for integrating technology in teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 10171054.