Auditing the TK and TPACK Confidence of Pre-service Teachers: Are they ready for the profession?
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Teacher education graduates need appropriate levels of confidence and capabilities in relation to technological knowledge (TK) as a basis for having technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) to meet the challenges of learning and teaching in the 21st century. However, it should not be assumed that tomorrow's teachers enter the profession with the appropriate confidence and capabilities. The TPACK conceptual framework (AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology, 2008; Mishra & Koehler, 2006) was used to guide this study that was conducted in 2009 to audit the TK and TPACK confidence of final year education students in two Queensland universities. The findings are compared with those reported in an earlier study (Watson et al., 2004) that found there was a limited range of applications with which the pre-service teachers expressed high levels of competence. Importantly, high percentages of participants in both studies perceived themselves to have no competence with applications such as multimedia development, visual thinking software and digital video editing which could be used to motivate their future students. Furthermore, the percentage of participants who rated themselves as having no or limited confidence to integrate ICT into student learning with particular integration examples was concerning. This paper provides a summary of some of the findings of the TPACK audit of the 2009 pre-service teachers in their final year, which reveal important insights that could be used to inform the review and design of teacher education programs to more directly improve graduate TPACK confidence and capabilities. The study suggests that current teacher education programs have largely been designed using Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) (Shulman, 1986, 1987) where students undertake studies in a range of curriculum (content, disciplinary) courses, pedagogy courses, and professional studies (practicum, Internship) courses, and this is now insufficient as TPACK capabilities are required.
Australian Educational Computing
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Educational Technology and Computing