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TPACK (nee TPCK)

So, the “hot” theory around ed. tech. academia is TPACK (the artist formerly known as TPCK).  It only came up about 17 times at AERA, and John Hendron happened to capture a quote from a paper about the theory on his blog. You can read and learn just about all you need to know about this theory here (nice use of a wiki, BTW).  The basic idea is that before now, teachers needed content knowledge (CK; i.e. what to teach), pedagogical knowledge (PK; i.e. how to teach) and PCK (how to specifically teach what you teach).  Now, in the digital age, to successfully integrate technology, teachers also need technological knowledge (TK).  Furthermore, by adding TK to the mix, the result is a three-ringed circus…err…Venn diagram with TPACK sitting at the intersection of all three domains of knowledge.

I find the theory interesting and it’s consistently being refined based on empirical evidence.  I wonder, though, about the CK part in the information age.  Certainly there’s some utility/value to teachers having some CK.  But, how do we reconcile CK with the known benefits of inquiry-based learning and other offshoots of constructivism?    And, what of CK in a standards-based climate where “what to teach” is predetermined?  Maybe, in the graphical representation of TPACK, the CK circle needs to be made considerably smaller?

 I’ll have to go read the papers and articles about TPACK more closely; perhaps there are some answers in there.  I’ll likely say more down the line…


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