As teachers learn to develop TPACK, what do their learning progressions look like?

Mishra & Koehler, from
Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge

Question: As teachers learn to develop TPCK and a TPCK mindset, what does their learning progression look like?

Answer: It depends. For the past year, I’ve had the privilege to work with a team of colleagues from MSU that has been exploring this question. Our work has grown out of a professional development session that, originally, was conceptualized as a day-long commitment. Through the efforts of several colleagues, including the colleagues at the elementary school where we’ve been conducting our research, the program grew into a year-long investigation of TPCK learning progressions. Our intervention? A summer-long partnership between an MSU “tech expert” and teachers who, in exchange for their time, received help with the development of a technology-oriented project that they could implement in their classrooms in the 2010-2011 school year.

Based on our early analyses of thirteen teachers’ learning trajectories from June to December, 2010, we’ve identified five trends. The majority of teachers (8 of 13) seemed to follow a climb>plateau pattern. Their self-reported knowledge and expertise around technology integration in their curriculum and teaching grew significantly between June and September when they were receiving the most one-on-one support from their MSU partners. Once school began, teachers tended to report a plateau in their knowledge and expertise of technology integration.

We also identified four atypical trajectories.

We identified the first atypical trajectory as flat>high-high-high. These teachers started at a high level of knowledge and expertise and stayed there. The intervention did not seem to change their assessments of their skills.

The second atypical trajectory was also flat. However, this teacher stayed low-low-low over the three points of data collection.

A third atypical trajectory was a climb>fall trajectory. This teacher reported improved knowledge and expertise of technology integration between points one and two of our data collection, but returned to his initial level of knowledge by the third point of data collection.

A fourth atypical trajectory was a climb>climb>climb trajectory. This teacher seemingly underestimated her abilities at the start but reported steady improvement in her ability to integrate technology in her curriculum over the three points of data collection in the study.

We’re currently in the process of preparing the article for publication.

TPCK model, Mishra, P. and Koehler, M.