What is TPACK?

Click here for a hi-res version of the TPACK image. You are free to use and reproduce this version of the image in your own non-profit works, including dissertations.
Please cite http://tpack.org/ as the source.

What is TPACK?

Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) attempts to identify the nature of knowledge required by teachers for technology integration in their teaching, while addressing the complex, multifaceted and situated nature of teacher knowledge. At the heart of the TPACK framework, is the complex interplay of three primary forms of knowledge: Content (CK), Pedagogy (PK), and Technology (TK). See Figure above. As must be clear, the TPACK framework builds on Shulman’s idea of Pedagogical Content Knowledge.

TPACK Image (rights free)

TPACK Image (rights free). Click on the image to view a high resolution version that is Rights free. You are free to use and reproduce this version of the image in your own non-profit works, including dissertations.
Please cite http://tpack.org/ as the source.

Definitive descriptions of TPACK can be found in Mishra & Koehler, 2006, or through any of the other links in the “Learn more about tpck” box on the right margin of this page, or on the left margin of every page.

The TPACK approach goes beyond seeing these three knowledge bases in isolation. On the other hand, it emphasizes the new kinds of knowledge that lie at the intersections between them. Considering P and C together we get Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK), Shulman’s idea of knowledge of pedagogy that is applicable to the teaching of specific content. Similarly, considering T and C taken together, we get Technological Content Knowledge (TCK), the knowledge of the relationship between technology and content. At the intersection of T and P, is Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK), which emphasizes the existence, components and capabilities of various technologies as they are used in the settings of teaching and learning.

Finally, at the intersection of all three elements is Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK). True technology integration is understanding and negotiating the relationships between these three components of knowledge. A teacher capable of negotiating these relationships represents a form of expertise different from, and greater than, the knowledge of a disciplinary expert (say a mathematician or a historian), a technology expert (a computer scientist) and a pedagogical expert (an experienced educator). Effective technology integration for pedagogy around specific subject matter requires developing sensitivity to the dynamic, [transactional] relationship between all three components.

History of TPACK

TPACK is not a brand new idea. A range of other scholars have argued that that knowledge about technology cannot be treated as context-free, and that good teaching requires an understanding of how technology relates to the pedagogy and content. The TPACK framework is gaining popularity amongst researchers and scholars. This makes tracking the progress of TPACK difficult but here is a relatively comprehensive list of References to TPACK in the research literature (going back to 1998). The definitive description of TPACK can be found in Mishra & Koehler, 2006 (PDF download) and Koehler & Mishra, in press).

The TPACK framework represented here is the result of an on-going design experiment being conducted by Matt Koehler & Punya Mishra and has involved many other people as well (co-conspirators include Kathryn Hershey, Lisa Peruski, Aman Yadav, Kurnia Yahya, and Yong Zhao).

Who owns TPACK?

Nobody. A number of people have contributed to the development of this idea. Check out the “TPACK Bibliography” section for a growing list of contributors.

The site, however, is provided and maintained free of charge by Dr. Matthew J. Koehler.

About Matthew Koehler

In my research, I seek to understand the pedagogical affordances (and constraints) of newer technologies for learning, specifically in the context of the professional development of teachers. My work has led to a program of research about a form of knowledge, Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK), that has developed theoretical, pedagogical, and methodological perspectives that characterize teachers who effectively integrate content, pedagogy, and technology in their classroom practice.