Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) is a framework to understand and describe the kinds of knowledge needed by a teacher for effective teaching using technology.

Shulman (1986) first introduced the idea of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) as a way of thinking about the development of teacher knowledge. This idea was extended by Mishra & Koehler (2006) to describe teachers’ integration of technology into their pedagogy. They introduced the idea of Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK), extending PCK based on the assumption that technology should be connected to specific content areas as discussed earlier.

The TPACK framework offers a way of thinking about educational technology by emphasising how such technology interacts with both pedagogy and content (Mishra et al., 2009). Emphasis is put on evaluating the entire teaching performance, not just one aspect of it. TPACK examines the complex roles of three main components of learning environments: content, pedagogy, and technology (Mishra & Koehler, 2006). According to this framework, technology integration does not require one single pedagogical orientation; it includes a spectrum of approaches to teaching and learning.

  • Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) covers practical knowledge that is used by teachers to guide their actions in highly contextualized classroom settings.
  • Technological Content Knowledge (TCK) covers knowledge about the manner in which technology and content are mutually linked.
  • Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK) covers knowledge of different technological tools as they are used in the classroom and knowing how they affect teaching through their use

The intersection of all three is Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) an emergent form of knowledge that goes beyond all three components: content, pedagogy, and technology (Koehler & Mishra, 2009).

This knowledge is different from knowledge of a disciplinary or technology expert and also from the general pedagogical knowledge shared by teachers across disciplines. Teachers may have difficulty understanding the complex relationships between technology, pedagogy and content, because these are often taught in isolation in most teacher education programs (So & Kim 2009).

The different zones of knowledge can be envisaged as overlapping circles, with TPACK in the very centre, as demonstrated in the image below.

TPACK

Reproduced by permission of the publisher, © 2012 by tpack.org

 

TPACK can be considered to be a distinct body of knowledge that can be developed and assessed. Archambault & Crippen (2009) developed a survey for measuring TPACK using 24 questions which asked teachers to rate their own understanding of various instructional and conceptual issues.

The TPACK framework is becoming increasingly popular as an organizing frame for the development of educational technology professional development programs for teachers. The use of TPACK in this way has created a need to be able to measure teacher TPACK.

TPACK framework does not necessarily mean that new technologies must be introduced, but instead relating creative ideas to using the technologies already available to educators. Each component: Technology, Pedagogy, and Content must all be within a given contextual framework.

Teachers who have strong TPACK make the most of current technologies by adapting appropriate tools and resources to fit the goals and objectives of their classrooms and curricula (Nelson et al., 2009).

Here’s a quick guide from Edutopia on how to start integrating technology into the classroom.

These videos will help to explain TPACK:

For more information – visit www.tpack.org

References

Archambault, L., & Crippen, K. (2009) Examining TPACK among K-12 online distance educators in the United States Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1) Online : http://www.citejournal.org/vol9/iss1/general/article2.cfm

Koehler, M. J., & Mishra, P. (2009) ‘What is technological pedagogical content knowledge?’ Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1) [Online] Available from: http://www.citejournal.org/vol9/iss1/general/article1.cfm

Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. (2006) ‘Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge’, Teachers College Record, 108(6), pp. 1017–1054

Mishra, P.,, Koehler, M., & Kereluik, K. (2009) ‘The Song Remains the Same: Looking Back to the Future of Educational Technology’, Techtrends, 53, 5, pp. 48-53

Nelson, J., Christopher, A., & Mims, C. (2009), ‘TPACK and Web 2.0: Transformation of Teaching and Learning’, Techtrends. 53(5), pp. 80-87

Shulman, L. S. (1986) ‘Those who understand: Knowledge growth in teaching’, Educational Researcher, 15(2), pp. 4–14.

So, H. & B. Kim, B. (2009) ‘Learning about problem based learning: Student teachers integrating technology, pedagogy and content knowledge’, Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 25(1), pp. 101–116

TPACK website : www.tpack.org