dinsdag 25 oktober 2011


This week I will write about TPACK. TPACK is a model designed for teachers to help them integrate technology into their teaching. First I will explain the TPACK model (Koehler & Mishra, 2009) and then I will reflect on the model.
There are a couple of dimensions in TPACK, in the model you see three circles that overlap each other and a bleu circle around these three circles. The three circles in the middle are circles that the teacher can influence, the bleu circle around is the context of the school. First I’m going to explain the three circles in the middle.
TPACK stands for Technology, pedagogy and content knowledge. It is a model used in education to show how to integrate technology.
TK in TPACK stands for Technology Knowledge: The TK is knowledge about when to uses which kind of technology and how to use this kind of technology.
P in TPACK stands for Pedagogy Knowledge:
The PK is about the way the teacher educates. There are many different learning styles and a teacher can work with different insights. Examples of different pedagogies are problem based learning and inquiry learning.
CK in TPACK stands for Content Knowledge:
The CK is about the 'what'. It is about what the students should learn, which subjects and which domains of the subject. So for example it is not only about the subject geography but also what domains of geography should be included.
The model is based upon the older model of Shulman (1986) that show how important it is to integrate the pedagogy with the content, as shown on the left. The kind of pedagogy that the teacher uses is dependent on the content that the teacher is using. These depend on each other so it is a different pedagogy for a different kinds of content. The knowledge that the teacher uses to implement this kind of teaching is called Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK). This kind of knowledge is used if the teacher interprets the content and can represent it in multiple ways, so using different kind of pedagogies.
The TPack model ads another aspect, Technology Knowledge (TK). Due to adding only one aspect, there are more knowledge aspects that the teacher has to possess to integrate these aspects. These different knowledge aspect are: Technical Content Knowledge (TCK), Technical Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK) and final Technical Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK). 
TCK is about how the technology can support and improve the content. The technology can be different within different subjects, but also within different phases in the line of learning of a content.
TPK is about how the technology supports and improves the pedagogy, different kinds of technologies can be used for different pedagogies or different phases within the lesson.
The teacher first has to know the three different aspects of CK, PK and TK apart from each other and then learn how to integrate these with each other, to improve the effectiveness of the lesson and thereby the efficiency. Then the teacher can use TPACK in his teaching. TPACK means that the teacher integrates all of these different kinds of knowledge in his teaching. During the preparation of the lessons, the teacher has to think of ways how technology can improve the learning outcome about the content that he is teaching within a specific pedagogy. I will come back to this in the reflection on TPACK.
Around the TPACK model there is a blue circle, this is the context. The context is the environment where the TPACK model is implemented. A teacher can think of a wonderful lesson, that includes all of the aspect of TPACK’s inner three circles, but if the school where the teacher works doesn’t have the resources he can’t give the lesson. Context is important in every lesson, based upon TPACK or not, the context has a big influences on the possibilities and the restrictions of teaching.

Reflection on TPACK:
Integrating technology into school and learning isn’t new, since computers were of a decent size that they could fit into a classroom they have been integrated into the school interior. Unfortunately in most cases, this is were integration stopped. A lot of should use technology in some kind of way, most classrooms have computers, and the interactive whiteboards are immuring into Dutch classrooms. Teachers use technology sometimes, but they don’t integrate it into their teaching. In comparison with the TPACK model, the technology is used next to PK and CK as illustrated below.
In practice this means that the technology doesn’t improve or supports the pedagogy that the teacher is using, or the content that the teacher is teaching. During a lecture in my University the professor showed us a film. In the particular part of the film they showed a (wise old) professor lecturing his students, using very inspiring words about how it is the students time to learn and that we are at the beginning of a new era. Namely the era were technology is integrated into teaching. It showed students that were following his lecture on distance by watching it on a laptop or I-pad. First it really seemed very inspiring, but afterwards it was explained that this is how technology is already being used! The fact that students watched the lecture from a distance, doesn’t influence how is being taught (PK) or what is being taught (CK). Another example is teachers using a whiteboard in exactly the same way as a chalkboard. This is such a same, because with more knowledge technology can help a teacher in his teaching and thereby improve students’ learning outcomes. By using this model, teachers are ‘forced’ to think about all the different aspects and how to integrate these with each other. Because integration is essential for improvement, and this is one of the strengths of T-PACK.
Furthermore I think that another strength is that it is based upon an exciting model. This model is very natural for teachers, namely the model of Shulman (1986) which I already introduced before. I think a lot of teachers can relate to this model, because they understand how important it is that the pedagogy and the content is integrated with each other. Also, teachers learn in teacher training that they should build upon prior knowledge. So they also like to learn new aspects based on their prior knowledge, this way it is less ‘invasive’ then a model that they can’t relate to.
TPACK also reminds me about another model, namely the model of the ‘spider web’ by van den Akker (2003). Van de Akker (2003) states that if you want to change something in a curriculum you have a address not only what you want to implement, but you also have to think about the effect this has on other elements of the curriculum. So if you want to implement technology into your teaching, as a teacher, you have to take the content, pedagogy and the context into account. This aligns with the idea of the TPACK model.
So in conclusion, I think that the TPACK model can help teachers a lot in how they should integrate technology and thereby improve their teaching.


Koehler, J. M. & Mishra, P. (2009) What is technological pedagogical content knowledge? Contemporary Isseus in Technology and Teacher Education, 9. 70-60 (1)
Akker, J. van den (2003). Curriculum perspectives: An introduction. In J. van den Akker, W. Kuiper & U. Hameyer (Eds.), Curriculum landscapes and trends (1-10). Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Shulman, L. S. (1986). Those who understand: Knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher, 15(2), 4-14

2 opmerkingen:

  1. Hi Charlotte, thank you for your ideas on TPACK. I like your reflection and your examples about the lecture and the black/whiteboard. However I am not sure that I agree with you on "The teacher first has to know the three different aspects of CK, PK and TK apart from each other and then learn how to integrate these with each other, to improve the effectiveness of the lesson and thereby the efficiency.". Is that true for all teachers?

  2. @ Petra Fisser,

    Hey Petra, the reason that I wrote that the teachers have to know the different aspects first has to do with thinking outside of the box. I think teacher will be able to be more creative with TPACK if they learn the different aspects first. They learn the different possibilities, if they learn the different aspects integrated immediately, teachers might stick to combinations they learned (know). If teachers want to try to work with a new model, it is very natural that teachers stick with something they already know. If teachers learn the different aspect separately, they get stimulated to try new things and think outside of the box. So I think it would be better to learn the different aspects first.