Preparing Special Education Teachers for Teaching Mathematics and Science with Technology by Integrating the TPACK Framework into the Curriculum: A Study of Teachers’ Perceptions

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This study examined the development of Technological Pedagogical And Content Knowledge (TPACK) in mathematics and science of pre-service special education teachers via one course. The course focused on the three domains of knowledge related
  Special education teachers and TPACK 1 Jl. of Technology and Teacher Education (2014) 22 (2) , 243-259   Preparing Special Education Teachers for Teaching Mathematics and Science with Technology by Integrating the TPACK Framework into the Curriculum: A Study of Teachers’  Perceptions   Nelly Tournaki and Irina Lyublinskaya College of Staten Island / CUNY, USA nelly.tournaki@csi.cuny.edu irina.lyublinskaya@csi.cuny.edu This study examined the development of Technological Pedagogical And Content Knowledge (TPACK) in mathematics and science of pre-service special education teachers via one course. The course focused on the three domains of knowledge related specifically to integrating instructional technology into mathematics and science teaching and learning namely, Technological Content Knowledge (TCK), Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK) and TPACK. The Survey of Pre- service Teachers’ Knowledge of Teaching and Technology developed by Schmidt et al (2009) was used to measure pre- service teachers’  perceptions of knowledge. A  paired t  -test revealed that upon completion of the course requirements, students perceived to have had significant gains in each of the domains of teacher knowledge addressed in the course - effect sizes were large (between .69 and 1.10). Further, significant gains were also found in the area of Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) but with moderate effect size.  Special education teachers and TPACK 2 Jl. of Technology and Teacher Education (2014) 22 (2) , 243-259   Our technologically-based society is advancing at a rapid pace and universities are struggling to prepare students with the technology skills needed for today (Albe, 2003). Teacher  preparation programs in particular have recognized that future teachers need to be knowledgeable on the effective use of educational technologies (e.g., Partnership for 21 st  Century Skills, 2003). Over the last two decades, many government agencies have established relevant curriculum standards to direct the implementation of educational technology (ISTE, 2008). Further, non-government organizations such as the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (http://site.aace.org/), promote research and practice in the use of technology in teacher education. There is ongoing debate regarding how teacher education programs can effectively prepare teachers to incorporate technology into teaching. More specifically, Kay (2006) has completed a meta-analysis of 68 refereed journal articles and suggested ten strategies on how to incorporate technology into pre-service teacher education: 1) Delivering a single technology course; 2) Offering mini-workshops; 3) Integrating technology in all courses; 4) Faculty modeling how to use technology in their courses; 5) Using multimedia (i.e. technology case studies, online courses, electronic portfolios); 6) Collaboration (i.e. establishing partnerships among colleges and K-12 schools to create technology-rich learning experiences); 7) Mentoring teachers; 8) Expecting pre-service teachers to be practicing technology in the field; 9) Focusing on faculty development; and 10) Improving access to software, hardware and/or support. Out of the above mentioned strategies, the most popular approach to preparing teachers was the first one, which included just one course in technological skills independent of content or pedagogy courses (Graham, Culatta, Pratt, & West, 2004; Hargrave & Hsu, 2000; Willis & Mehlinger, 1996). More recent studies demonstrated that offering one such course is not enough to prepare teachers to teach by integrating technology (Fishman & Davis, 2006; Hsu & Sharma, 2006; Mishra, Koehler, & Kereluik, 2009; Steketee,  Special education teachers and TPACK 3 Jl. of Technology and Teacher Education (2014) 22 (2) , 243-259   2005). We need courses that integrate the teaching of all the components of teacher knowledge that is, particular content knowledge on a subject matter, pedagogy skills, and technology (Angeli & Valanides, 2005; Chai, Koh, & Tsai, 2010; Graham, Burgoyne, Cantrell, Smith, Clair, & Harris, 2009; Jonassen, Howland, Marra, & Crismond, 2008; Mishra & Khoeler, 2006). Mishra and Khoeler (2006) have clearly articulated a theoretical framework of teacher knowledge and refer to this integrated form of contextualized knowledge as Technological Pedagogical And Content Knowledge (TPACK). Mishra and Khoeler (2006) used three out of seven domains of Shulman’s ( 1986a, 1986b, 1987) theoretical framework about teacher’s knowledge : subject matter or Content Knowledge (CK), Pedagogical Knowledge (PK), and Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK). They then created a different framework by adding that teachers need to integrate knowledge of technology within their teacher knowledge, yielding four additional domains of knowledge that relate specifically to technology: Technological Knowledge (TK), Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK), Technological Content knowledge (TCK) and Technological Pedagogical And Content Knowledge (TPACK) (see Figure 1).  Special education teachers and TPACK 4 Jl. of Technology and Teacher Education (2014) 22 (2) , 243-259   Figure 1. The TPACK Framework (http://tpack.org).  TPACK describes the body of knowledge that teachers need for teaching with technology in their assigned content areas and grade levels (Hughes, 2005; Hughes & Scharber, 2008). TPACK is identified with knowledge that relies on the interconnection and intersection of content,  pedagogy, and technology (Mishra, & Koehler, 2006; Niess, 2008). The framework must be viewed as constituting more than a set of multiple domains of knowledge and skills that teachers require for teaching their students ’  particular content at specific grade levels. Rather, the TPACK framework defines a way of thinking that integrates the multiple domains of knowledge of content area, pedagogy and technology. According to this framework, TPACK is one of the seven domains of teacher knowledge.  Special education teachers and TPACK 5 Jl. of Technology and Teacher Education (2014) 22 (2) , 243-259   Assessment of TPACK The most common way to assess teachers’ TPACK   is through self-reports namely, surveys completed by teachers themselves. At this point researchers have constructed a number of surveys that measure self-reported TPACK and they can be divided in those that are designed to measure in-service general education teachers’ TPACK   (e.g., Archambault & Crippen, 2009; Lee & Tsai, 2010) and those for pre-service general education teachers (e.g., Mishra & Koehler, 2005; Schmidt, Baran, Thompson, Mishra, Koehler, & Shin, 2009). . The present study was conducted with pre-service special education teachers, so surveys developed for pre-service teachers are reviewed in this section. Mishra and Koehler (2005) designed the first survey, which measured the evolution of TPACK of pre-service teachers learning how to develop online courses. The questions in the survey were written for this context. The survey was qualitative and reports on validation of this first TPACK instrument were not provided. The surveys that followed were quantitative. Schmidt, Baran, Thompson, Mishra, Koehler, and Shin (2009) developed and validated the Survey of Pre- service Teachers’ Knowledge of Teaching and Technology (SPTKTT), a 47-item Likert scale survey to assess TPACK of early childhood  pre-service teachers as they progressed through their education programs. SPTKTT addressed each of the seven domains of the TPACK framework. Further, Chai et al (2010) used a modified version of the SPTKTT survey to assess Technological Knowledge (TK), Content Knowledge (CK), Pedagogical Knowledge (PK) and TPACK development in a specifically designed ICT course for  pre-service teachers in Singapore. In the same year Sahin and Erdogan (2010) developed a survey that was administered to college students to address their acquaintance with different applications of TPACK. Finally, Jamieson-Proctor, Finger, Albion (2010) developed the TPACK Confidence
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