TPCK model – the intersection of three knowledges

I think it would be a good mental exercise to consider applying some of the ideas of the TPCK model, discussed in our class last week to situations i encounter at work. My classmates did an excellent job introducing many of us to this model that considers the intersection of 3 types of knowledge: Technical knowledge, Pedagogical knowledge and Content knowledge.

The first thought I had when looking at this model was the old stereotype that high school teachers have lots of knowledge in subject area (content knowledge), but are not really able to teach (little pedagogical knowledge) and primary school teachers are great teachers (lots of pedagogical knowledge) without a strong handle on subject areas (content knowledge). Now before everyone starts leaving me nasty comments, I’m not saying that I agree with this old stereotype at all. It does bring up the idea that we may not all have deep knowledge and understanding in all areas, though. I think that deeply skilled teaching with technology does often happen at the intersection of these 2 areas along with the third area of technical knowledge. (http://tpack.org/)

Our school has been introducing iPads into our classrooms and it is interesting to see how the dynamics are during the professional development sessions focused on implementing them in the classroom.

There were Apple representatives at these sessions that were the technical experts with the technical knowledge. They were giving instructions on the use of the iPad to teachers that ranged widely in their depth of knowledge in the three areas. These wide ranges in knowledge would lead to some teachers jumping ahead or getting frustrated because they didn’t see how the Apple reps instructions were applicable to the classroom. Others would feel that, the iPads were great fun, but teaching without iPads the way that they have been teaching their subjects has worked for so long, there was no good reason to change it now.

Eventually as teachers began to get a clearer idea of how to use the iPads and the specific software, many of them started to get excited. From there, there were more specific questions about the use in the classrooms and about troubleshooting unique teaching scenarios.

This eventually lead to a stronger use of iPads in the classroom as an effective tool to enhance the learning of the students in the specific subjects.

It really speaks to the need for collaboration in order to lean on each other’s strengths to be able to gain a deeper knowledge and understanding in all three areas, and more effectively implement the technology in the classroom.

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