Gerard Dummer

Alles over Onderwijs en ICT.

Browsing Posts tagged phd

The third article in this TPACK-literature study is Margaret L. Niess’ article Mathematics Teachers Developing Technology, Pedagogy and Content Knowledge (TPACK) In K. McFerrin et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2008 (pp. 5297-5304). Chesapeake, VA: AACE

In this article Niess describes 5 TPACK-levels for teaching mathematics with appropriate technologies. Niess states that teacher “do not demonstrate that they either have of do not have TPACK for teaching mathematics with appropriate technologies. They differ in the actions with respect to each of the components as they are confronted with whether to accept of reject the use of various technologies in teaching mathematics.”

With Everett Rogers (1995), she states that teachers’ development of TPACK for teaching mathematics with appropriate technologies is a developmental process. Niess developed a descriptive model to analyze teachers’ TPACK-development. Using Rogers (1995) ideas the five levels are:

  1. Recognizing (knowledge) where teachers are able to use the technologies and recognize alignment of the capabilities of the technologies with mathematics content.
  2. Accepting (persuasion) where teachers form a favorable or unfavorable attitude toward teaching and learning mathematics with appropriate technologies.
  3. Adapting (decision) where teachers engage in activities that lead to a choice to adopt or reject teaching and learning mathematics with appropriate technologies.
  4. Exploring (implementation) where teachers actively integrate teaching and learning of mathematics with appropriate technologies. 
  5. Advancing (confirmation) where teachers evaluate the results of the decision to integrate teaching and learning mathematics with appropriate technologies.

In the article see also provides an in-depth description of each stage. Following each description is a “teacher comment”. In the phase of Recognizing teachers only see a limited use of technology. In the phase of Accepting teachers think that technology will only help students that are already competent with the technology. In the phase of Adapting the teacher thinks that technology is worthwhile for themselves and students. Teachers are aware that they have to learn more about the technology if they want to use it in the classroom. In the phase of Exploring teachers are somewhat anxious to introduce new technologies into their curriculum but explore they possibilities with their students. They also recognize that technology can engage students in learning mathematics. In the fifth phase Advancing the teacher can integrate technology in such a way that students perform higher-level math and higher-level thinking and let the computer do the basic arithmetic. They also know how to engage students through the use of technology

The second article I would like to discuss is Margaret L. Niess’ guest editorial: preparing teachers to teach mathematics with technology in Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education 6(2), 195-203.  In this article she poses a lot of questions that, I think, are very recognizable.

In this article Niess outlines a future classroom (2056) when the use of technology is an integrated part of teaching. She writes: “here in 2006, most teachers have not learned mathematics using technology tools. So the question now is to identify what and how to prepare mathematics teachers to teach the 21st century. What do teachers need to know and be able to do and how do they need to develop this knowledge for teaching mathematics.”

In this article Niess addresses several problems that make it difficult to integrate technology in teaching (mathematics):

  1. Students and teachers have a limited knowledge of potential technologies for use in technologies;
  2. Students and teachers have not learned mathematics with technologies;
  3. How much mathematics should students know before using technologies? (for example: calculators, spreadsheets and applets)
  4. McRobbie and Cooper (2000) suggest that knowledge and beliefs may be the actual barriers to use technology;
  5. Mathematics anxiety is an issue in mathematics educations. Niess poses the question if mathematics anxiety extends to technology anxiety;
  6. There is limited knowledge base about how students learn and how to design the curriculum that supports students in learning mathematics with technology;
  7. It’s not clear what the knowledge, skills and beliefs are of mathematics teacher educators and mathematicians who are teaching college level mathematics courses.

Niess also quotes Everett Rogers (1995) to explain that teacher progress through a five step process to decide whether to accept or reject a innovation for teaching mathematics:

  1. Knowledge, where teachers become aware of integrating technology with learning mathematics and has some idea of how it functions.
  2. Persuasion, where teachers form a favorable or unfavorable attitude toward teaching and learning mathematics with technology.
  3. Decision, where teachers engage in activities that lead to a choice to adopt or reject teaching and learning mathematics with technology.
  4. Implementation, where teachers actively integrate teaching and learning with technology.
  5. Confirmation, where teachers evaluate the results of the decision to integrate teaching and learning with technology.

 What should be done in order to learn students how to integrate technology in teaching? In this article Niess suggests that:

  1.  To teach, teachers need to have developed an integrated knowledge structure that incorporates knowledge about subject matter, learners, pedagogy, curriculum and schools.
  2. Margerum-Leys and Marx (2002) argue that from a constructivist perspective, “opportunities for authentic experiences are a necessary condition for learning to occur.
  3. Teacher preparation programs need to focus on strengthening the preservice teachers’ knowledge of how to incorporate technology to facilitate student learning of mathematics through experiences that:
  • Build confidence and understanding;
  • Model appropriate uses;
  • Help to make informed decisions;
  • Provide opportunities to develop and practice teaching lessons.

The article concludes with a six point research agenda, provided by the national Educational Technology Standards for Teachers (ISTE, 2002):

1. Technology operations and concepts. What are the general operations and concepts for all technologies and how do they apply to mathematics-specific technologies? What mathematics-specific concepts are important in technologies?

2. Planning and designing learning environments and experiences. What strategies are essential when guiding students in learning particular mathematics concepts with specific technologies?

3. Teaching, learning, and the curriculum. How should student learning about the technologies be scaffolded with learning mathematics? Should students learn mathematics concepts before using the technology tools?

4. Assessment and evaluation. How is assessment different in a technology –rich educational experience?

5. Productivity and professional practice. How do teachers’ develop the professional attitude toward continuing to develop their TPCK?

6. Social, ethical, legal and human issues. How do mathematics teachers deal with a diversity of access to technologies?

In preparation on my PhD I start to write blogposts in English. Especially those related to my PhD-subject (how to prepare preservice teachers in the Netherlands to use technology in their teaching of mathematics in elementary education to enhance their TPACK capabilities). Writing in English is something I have to practise because the articles for my PhD have to be written in English.  And because I’ve not written something in English since secondary education it is something I think I should start with right away. I don’t hope it’s to awfull. I try to avoid Dunglish as much as possible.

I started thinking about doing a PhD last September. I have spoken with many people about a possible subject related to ICT and education, my main field of interest. That’s how I started to think about doing research about the teacher preparation program and preservice teachers. To narrow this down I chose to focus on mathematics.

Now that I knew which subject I wanted to focus on I started to collect literature about the subject. The first article that I think is interesting is called :Preparing teachers to teach science and mathematics with technology: developing a technology pedagogical centent knowlegde (Teaching and Teacher education 21 (2005) 509-523) by M.L. Niess.

It’s the first article I want to discuss. Nies has written several articles about the subject. I try to discuss all of them in chronological order.

In this article Niess discibes a 1-year study at a teacher preparation program at a graduate level focused on the preparation of science and mathematics teachers to integrate technology. First she discribes some problems she sees in doing this. The first problem is that

Few teachers have been taught to teach their subject their subject matter with technology and as a survey by the National Center for Education Statistics found, only 20% of the current public school teachers feel comfortable using technology in their teaching (Rosenthal, 1999).

 This is research done in 1999. I wonder what the situation is know. I think that preservice teachers that enrole now in teacher preparation programs have more experiences with the use of technology in education. I think that this is certainly the case for their experiences in secondary education.

Niess states that preservice teachers often learn about teaching and learning with technolgy in a more generic manner unconnected with the development of their knowledge of the subject matter. Niels wants to know:

how can teacher preparation programs guide preservice teachers’ development of a TPCK to prepare teachers for a classroom environment where technology significantly impacts and changes teaching and learning in K-12 science and mathematics classrooms?

Niess indicates that:  

Beck and Wynn (1998) have described the integration of technology in teacher preparation programms on a continuum. At the one end the continuum the integration of technology is  course seperate form the teacher preparation program while on the other end of the cotinuum the entire program is changed to implement the integration.

For this study Niess developed a conceptual and emperical framework, based on the four central components of Grossman of PCK, to describe the development of TPCK:

  1. an overarching conception of what it means to teach a particular subject integrating technology in the learning
  2. knowledge of instructional strategies and representations for teaching particular topics with technology
  3. knowledge of students’ understanding, thinking and learning with technology in a particular subject
  4. knowledge of curriculum and curriculum materials that integrate technology with learing in the subject erea (Borko & Putman, 1996, p. 690).

 Niess concludes that:

  • Teacher preparation programs need to consider specific directions to guide student teachers in expanding their understanding of the interactions of the knowledge of technology and the knowledge of their subject erea.
  • Research hinted that student teachers have inadequate repertoires for teaching their subject matter (Ball, 1991, Borko et al. 1992; McDiarmid, 1990) resulting in a limited PCK. Given the recent inclusion of technology in education, many preservice teachers have limited experiences in learning their subject matter with technology. They have not seen or experienced many instructional strategies and representations of their subject within a technological framework.
  • In their beginning student teaching experience, the student teacher were naturally focused on their own teaching and less likely to think about their students’ understanding, thinking and learning.

Students, described in the 5 case-studies, were provided with technologies to use in the classroom because the school itself had limited availability of these resources. In real life situations in a teacher preparation program this is impracticable. You can’t give all students the recources they need.  The situation at the training school is therefor also very important. Consider the Four in Balance-model (Kennisnet, 2010) that states that the use of technology in education is best served when vision, ICT infrastructure, educational software and content and knowledge, attitude and skills are in balance.

A very important point Niess makes is the fact that “student teacher were naturally focused on their own teaching and less likely to think about their students’ understanding, thinking and learning.”  This refers, in my opinion,  to the Concerns Based Adoption Model (Hall and Hord, 1987). Searching for more information about this subject I stumbled upon the  Levels of Technology Implementation (LoTi) Framework of C. Moertsch (1998). Something to explore further next time.

The articles end with some interesting researchquestions:

  • What program models support teachers in gaining the skils, knowledge, and beliefs that support teaching different subjects with technology?
  • Wat are the important skills, knowledge and beliefs?
  • How does TPCK change for different content ereas?
  • What experiences are essential in building a TPCK?
  • What technologies are important?
  • What support do student teachers need as they practice teaching with technologies?