Chapter 12- TPCK in in-service education

In chapter 12 of the Handbook of TPCK for educators, Harris(2008) points out the discrepancy between teachers actions and  leaders’ vision. This is a reoccurring theme in many of my readings from Cuban’s(2001) book to some of the more recent articles from journals. Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading this chapter as I was able to relate to and think of ways I can help in-service teachers gain TPCK skills.

According to Harris(2008)

  • Technology “should assist with – not overshadow – teachers helping students to meet curriculum-based standards.” (p. 252)
  • “To an experienced educator, teaching is much like jazz performance: a well-practiced fusion of
    • careful, creative planning and
    • spontaneous improvisation” (p. 251)
  • Technology integration is defined as “pervasive and productive use of educational technologies for purposes of curriculum-based learning and teaching” (p. 252).

According to the author, the “wicked problem” of technology integration can be solved by understanding a number of interwoven aspects related to pedagogy, teaching and technology. It is necessary to recognize  that TPCK is not only focusing on knowledge from several domains such as CK, PK, TK, PCK, TCK, TPCK as suggested by Koehler and Mishra’s (2006) diagram but also is highly situated and thus is “influenced by contextual factors such as  culture, socioeconomic status, and organizational structures”(p. 255).

“… well-developed TPCK may be positively correlated with general teaching expertise” (p. 256).

The author recognizes that experienced teachers need a different type of professional development than novices. She proposes that professional development be developed around activity types (structures) within and across curriculum-based disciplines.

“given the socially situated, event-structured, episodic, and pragmatic nature of experienced teachers’ knowledge( Moallem, 1998; Putnam & Borko,2000)” (p. 257) activity structures”- ( as in sociocultural theory) can be used as “cultural tools that perpetuate and standardize interaction patterns and interaction norms and expectations”( p. 257) of teachers.

  • TPCK structure combinations: imitate, assimilate, innovate (p. 262)
    • => activity structures/types approach to TPCK-focused professional development for experienced teachers:
      • knowledge-building activities (p. 263)
      • knowledge expression activities (p. 264)
      • divergent knowledge expression activities (p. 264)

In conclusion, the author argued that activity structures/types approach is the way forward for in-service professional development that would provide opportunities for the  experienced teachers’ to be expand move towards a deep philosophical change.

Reference:

Harris, J. (2008). TPCK inservice education: Assisting experienced teachers’ “planned improvisations.” In AACTE Committee in Innovation and Technology (Ed.), Handbook of Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK) for educators (pp. 251-271). New York, NY: Routledge.

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