Scholarly article on topic 'The Role of TPACK in Physics Classroom: Case Studies of Preservice Physics Teachers'

The Role of TPACK in Physics Classroom: Case Studies of Preservice Physics Teachers Academic research paper on "Earth and related environmental sciences"

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Abstract of research paper on Earth and related environmental sciences, author of scientific article — Niwat Srisawasdi

Abstract The technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) is currently considered as an essential framework for promoting instructional competency of the 21st century teachers. Computer-based learning environments have become commonplace in teaching practice toward building more effective approach for students learning process. This paper presents a journey of the transformation of TPACK in three preservice physics teachers, as they participated in a case-based ICT in education module paralleled with an internship course of teaching specific courses in school, into characteristics of their teaching methods in physics classroom using computerized laboratory environments. Also, the paper presents the results of their study on high school students’ physics learning that showed the impact of their design teaching methods for specific content knowledge of physics. In the end, the paper puts forward to considerations and challenges about the preparation of physics teachers

Academic research paper on topic "The Role of TPACK in Physics Classroom: Case Studies of Preservice Physics Teachers"

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Social and Behavioral Sciences

Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 46 (2012) 3235 - 3243

WCES 2012

The role of TPACK in physics classroom: case studies of preservice physics teachers

Niwat Srisawasdi a *

aFaculty of Education, Khon Kaen University,123 Mittraphap High-way, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand

Abstract

The technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) is currently considered as an essential framework for promoting instructional competency of the 21st century teachers. Computer-based learning environments have become commonplace in teaching practice toward building more effective approach for students learning process. This paper presents a journey of the transformation of TPACK in three preservice physics teachers, as they participated in a case-based ICT in education module paralleled with an internship course of teaching specific courses in school, into characteristics of their teaching methods in physics classroom using computerized laboratory environments. Also, the paper presents the results of their study on high school students' physics learning that showed the impact of their design teaching methods for specific content knowledge of physics. In the end, the paper puts forward to considerations and challenges about the preparation of physics teachers.

© 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer review under responsibility of Prof. Dr. Huseyin Uzunboylu Keywords: TPACK, Case-based learning , Preservice teacher, Physics teacher;

1. Introduction

In an accelerating change in the 21st century society, the challenges for education of this century are to discover and develop tools that add efficiency and value to both teaching and learning. Technologies has profound and lasting impacts in school classroom as being a powerful cognitive tool that can transform the way core subject is taught by facilitating both teachers' instructional practices and students' learning processes and effective learning and teaching requires both teachers and students being able to use new technologies gathering, organizing and evaluating of information to solve problems and innovate practical ideas in real-world settings (Edelson, 2001; Jimoyiannis, 2010). In community of practice for science education, there is a wide range of efficient technological environments and applications available for science teaching and learning (e.g. animation, simulations and modeling tools, microcomputer based laboratories (MBL), intelligent tutoring system, web resources and environments, spreadsheets and scientific databases, etc.) which offer a great variety of affordances for both students and teachers. Many researchers have advocated the educational potential of ICT-based learning environments in science education, arguing that they provide opportunities for active learning, enable students to perform at higher cognitive levels, support constructive learning, and promote scientific inquiry and conceptual change (Jimoyiannis, 2010).

To enhance tochers' instructional potentialities and students' active engagement and learning opportunities in science, not only all students need a more robust process of technology-enhanced science learning, but teacher also

* Corresponding Author name. Tel.: +6-681-775-9559 E-mail address: niwsri@kku.ac.th

ELSEVIER

1877-0428 © 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer review under responsibility of Prof. Dr. Huseyin Uzunboylu doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.06.043

are need to educate and prepare for gaining high quality of teaching competency by integrating technologies into classroom teaching practice.

According to the rapid change, there is a requirement for comprehensively use of technology in order to develop proficiency in 21st century skills for student, support innovative teaching and learning, and create robust education support system for both students and educators (State Educational Directors Association et al., 2007). Thus, to promote the competency for 21st century science teachers, the epistemology of technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) is currently considered as the essential qualities of knowledge for highly qualified teachers. Furthermore, viewing of teachers' knowledge as including rich relationships between content, pedagogy, and technology also has significant implications for teacher education and teachers' professional development (Kohler, Mishra, & Yahya, 2007). The goal of this study was to explore the case-based approach in the context of preservice physics teachers' preparation and development. This present paper presents an investigation of the transformation of TPACK competency in the preservice physics teachers and benefits of integrating technological tools into secondary school students' physics learning environment.

2. Literature reviews

2.1. Technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPCK) in teacher education

The TPACK framework was built upon Shulman's (1986) pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) work, idea of knowledge of pedagogy that is applicable to the teaching of specific content, and it has been used to describe a full range of teachers' knowledge of instruction with technology. The conceptual framework of TPACK was used to illustrate instructional ideas regarding how teachers integrate technology into their pedagogy and it has been embraced as a theoretical basis for structuring ICT curriculum in teacher education programs (Chai et al., 2011; Jimoyiannis, 2010).

The TPACK was firstly proposed by Mishra and Koehler (2006) to describe an integrated connection among content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and technological knowledge in order to aid the potential integration of ICT tools in classroom setting and school practices, and it is most commonly represented in a drawing of Venn diagram with three overlapping circles of the knowledge (see Figure 1). The TPACK diagram includes three core categories of knowledge including the knowledge about the processes and practices or methods of teaching and learning called pedagogical knowledge (PK), the knowledge about the actual subject matter that is to be learned or taught called content knowledge (CK), and the knowledge about standard technologies and the skills required to operate particular technologies called technological knowledge (TK). The Mishra and Koehler (2006)'s framework also proposes that combining these three core types of knowledge results in four additional types of knowledge including the knowledge about particular teaching practice that appropriately fit the nature of specific subject content called pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), the knowledge about the existence, components, and capabilities of standard technologies that could be appropriately used to particularly support in the processes and practices or methods of teaching and learning called technological pedagogical knowledge (TPK), the knowledge about the manner which knowledge of actual subject matter could be manipulated into appropriate representations by the application of standard technologies called technological content knowledge (TCK), and knowledge about the manner which the transactional relationship between knowledge about content (C), pedagogy (P), and technology (T) was dynamic in order to develop appropriate, context-specific, strategies, and representations for better learning of content knowledge called technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK). Figure 1 shows a diagram of TPACK framework.

Figure 1. Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework (http://tpack.org)

The TPACK may provide new directions for teacher educators in solving the problems associated with infusing ICT into classroom teaching practice and learning process (Chai et al., 2011). Researches on teacher education reported that the TPACK model can be used as a potentially fruitful framework to prepare and develop teacher competencies in school teaching (Doering et al., 2009; Lee & Tsai, 2009; Voogt et al., 2009).

2.2. Case-based approach

The case study method was originated from medical and business schools and it was used as active learning pedagogy for exploring particular principles and solving problems (Cranston-Gingrass et al., 1996; Sykes & Bird, 1992). Case-based approach was determined as a tool for teacher professional preparation and development and it becomes a means for effective method in order to facilitate critical thinking and exploring dilemmas in classroom-based teaching (Dori & Hercovitz, 2005). This approach has been supported within a constructivist learning paradigm in which preservice teachers were provided opportunities to explore various issues within real-life scenarios of student-centered classroom, moving knowledge from theory into practice to become thoughtful practitioner (Lee, Summers & Garza, 2009).

3. Methods

3.1. Study participants

Forty-three preservice teachers in Graduate Diploma Program in Teaching Profession at Faculty of Education, Khon Kaen University were attending a course of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Education during the 2nd semester of academic year 2010, and they were five physics major, 11 chemistry major, eight biology major, nine mathematics major and 10 computer science major. Finally, three of five preservice physics teachers in the program were invited to participate in this research as case studies. The participants in this case study research were two female and one male, and they aged 22 to 24 years old. All of them did have satisfactory basic ICT skills but they had not any experience with using ICT for laboratory experimenting and science teaching before.

3.2. The case-based ICT module

The participants were introduced into a learning module of case-based ICT. The case-based ICT module consisted of 6 three-hour weekly lectures and the module included six case studies on integrating ICT for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Table 1 presents the cases and its details of technology, pedagogy, and content used, which used in this study.

Table 1. Details of the case-based ICT module

Case Lesson name

Technology used

Pedagogy used

Content used

Figure

computer-based laboratory 1 environment for authentic-inquiry science

Computer-based laboratory

Inquiry-based learning

Nanoscience and technology of smell (Nanotechnology)

Virtual computer-based laboratory Computer environment for chemistry learning simulation

Inquiry-based learning

Water contact angle (Chemistry)

Symbolic tool set for integral 3 problem solving in mathematics learning

Maple software

Problem-based learning

Calculus (Mathematics)

Constructivist web-based learning environment for physics learning

Web-based learning environment

Constructivist learning

Force and laws of motion (Physics)

Testing and diagnostic learning Web-based

5 problem — an educational Artificial

application from computer science intelligence

Web-based learning

System of linear equation (Mathematics)

Geographic information system tool for teaching biology

Geographic information system (GIS)

Inquiry-based learning

Mollusk diversity and distribution (Biology)

After finishing a case presentation, the participants were encouraged into a forum of critical open discussion by considering the potential impact of the innovative ICT teaching method using in the cases on students' science learning and the TPACK framework. The critical open discussion of the cases is aligned to the criteria for ICT-TPACK (Angeli & Valanides, 2009) comprising: (a) identification of suitable topic to be taught with technology; (b) identification of appropriate representations to transform content; (c) identification of teaching strategies difficult to be implemented by traditional mean; (d) selection of appropriate tools and appropriate pedagogical uses of their affordances; and (e) identification of appropriate integration strategies.

3.3. Data collection

For investigating the TPACK transformation of three preservice physics teachers participated in this study, the two design tasks of using ICT tools into their teaching practice and student learning process constituted the unit of analysis of learning-in-progress outcome. The first design task was assigned to the participants in the first week of the case-based ICT module, before the presentation of the first case study. At the end of the module, the participants were assigned to complete the second design task of using ICT into their teaching practice and student learning process. In addition, results of their conducted classroom research with secondary school students were incorporated into a related unit of analysis to present experimental outcome of the use of ICT tools into physics teaching practices.

3.4. Data analysis

For the analysis of the transformation of TPACK competency for the three preservice physics teachers, the content analysis was primarily used for writing protocol of their design tasks. A coding and rubric score system of protocols consistent with the TPACK framework was developed and then the design tasks were coded based on the seven categories defined by the TPACK framework, including Content Knowledge (CK), Pedagogical Knowledge (PK), Technological Knowledge (TK), Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK), Technological Content Knowledge (TCK), Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK), and Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK).

4. Results

4.1. TPACK transformation of preservice physics teachers

4.1.1. The 1st preservice physics teacher(PPT-l): female, 22 years old, no teaching experience, no working experience

PPT-1 was 22 years old female. This participant finished Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Faculty of Science, Loei Rajabhat University, Thailand. This participant had no school teaching and tutor experience, and also had no working experience after finishing the degree. The participant selected a physics topic of properties of sound wave for both the first and the second design tasks. The design tasks could be summarized with TPACK framework as display in Table 2.

Table 2. Summary of TPACK component for the 1st preservice physics teacher

TPACK component

Design task CK PK TK PCK TPK TCK TPACK

Pn Cn Pn Cn Pn Cn Pn Cn Pn Cn Pn Cn Nn Pn Cn An

1st design task V V

2nd design task V V ^** ^** V" V"

Note: Pn = perception level, Cn = conception level, An = action level, Nn = no perception, * = transformation of knowledge, ** = generation of knowledge

In the details of the first design task, PPT-1 identified a nature of physics content knowledge (CK-Pn) of properties of sound wave such as reflection, refraction, interference, and diffraction. The PPT-1 mentioned a pedagogical knowledge (PK-Pn) of teaching practice of hands-on experiment for physics of sound wave, and also a technological knowledge (TK-Pn) of using a software application for recording the experimental data and presenting its graph. However, relationship between CK, PK, and TK was not explained in the design of teaching practice in the topic of physics of properties of sound wave. Therefore, this evidence showed that PPT-1 had no perception of the knowledge of dynamic in order to develop appropriate, context-specific, strategies, and representations for better learning of content knowledge called technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK-Nn).

In the details of the second design task, PPT-1 still mentioned in the nature of physics content knowledge (CK-Pn) of properties of sound wave, pedagogical knowledge (PK-Pn) of teaching practice of hands-on experiment for physics of sound wave, and also a technological knowledge (TK-Pn) of using a software application for recording the experimental data and presenting its graph. Aside from that, the PPT-1 has identified difficulties in physics content knowledge of properties of wave such as invisible, abstract, and many characteristics, and explained to use only a longitudinal wave of sound for teaching by using hands-on experiment (PCK-Pn). The integrative use of both microcomputer-based laboratory and computer-simulated experiment in structured-inquiry learning method was explained in an action of teaching the properties of sound wave (TPK-Cn). In addition, the PPT-1 also explained the way to use the microcomputer-based laboratory to represent graph immediately and the use of computer-simulated experiment to visualize the invisible phenomena of sound wave (TCK-Cn). In according to the transactional relationship between knowledge about content, pedagogy, and technology, this evidence showed a summative evaluation that PPT-1 had an appropriated conception of the technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK-Cn) because the participant revealed a conceptual link between CK, PK, and TK that the physics content of properties of sound wave should be transformed into a graph and graphic representations by using tools of microcomputer-based laboratory and computer-simulated experiment, respectively, and the representations could be appropriately organized to deliver the transformed content knowledge in the process of structured-inquiry learning with the technologies.

4.1.2. The 2nd preservice physics teacher (PPT-2): female, 22 years old, no teaching experience, no working experience

PPT-2 was 22 years old female. PPT-2 finished Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Faculty of Science, Khon Kaen University, Thailand. The PPT-2 had no school teaching and tutor experience, and also had no working experience after finishing the degree. The PPT-2 selected a physics topic of nuclear reaction, and the law of conservation of energy for planning learning activities of the first and the second design tasks, respectively. The design tasks could be summarized with TPACK framework as display in Table 3.

Table 3. Summary of TPACK component for the 2nd preservice physics teacher

TPACK component

Design task CK PK TK PCK TPK TCK TPACK

Pn Cn Pn Cn Pn Cn Pn Cn Pn Cn Pn Cn Nn Pn Cn An

1st design task V < < V V V

2nd design task V < < < V* V* V*

Note: Pn = perception level, Cn = conception level, An = action level, Nn = no perception, * = transformation of knowledge, ** = generation of knowledge

In the details of the first design task, PPT-2 identified the physics content knowledge (CK-Cn) of nuclear reaction was a complex form and abstract that this CK need to be transformed into a form of more imagible representation and it need a particular teaching method to transfer the representations into student learning process, not a conventional lecture by writing on blackboard (PCK-Pn). The use of video and computer animation (TK-Pn) has been mentioned to visualize the complexity of nuclear reaction phenomena (TCK-Pn). The PPT-2 mentioned to incorporate the video for engaging student's interesting and computer animation for supporting student's exploration processes (TPK-Pn) in 5E inquiry cycle (PK-Pn). This evidence expressed a summative evaluation that PPT-2 had a perception towards a harmonization of TPACK components (TPACK-Pn) because the participant was able to identify difficulty of content and perceive the need for transformation of the content. Also, the PPT-2 was able to identify teaching method to suit the use of technologies but not explain how to use the technologies to transform the content and support student's learning process.

In the details of the second design task, PPT-2 indicated a conceptualization in the specific characteristics of physics content knowledge (CK-Pn) of the law of conservation of energy that the CK is a complicated concept which cause students to held alternative conceptions of the concept and it had negative impact on learning advance scientific concepts. Thus, the CK must be transformed into understandable representations (TCK-Cn) by using realtime graphing in microcomputer-based laboratory (TK-Pn). PPT-2 has planned to use the microcomputer-based laboratory in a teaching method of interactive lecture demonstration (PK-Pn) for supporting student's active learning

with the real-time display of experimental data (TPK-Cn) and collaborative inquiry learning of student (PCK-Pn). In according to the transactional relationship between knowledge about content, pedagogy, and technology, this evidence indicated that this participant had an appropriated conception of the technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK-Cn) because the participant revealed a conceptual link between CK, PK, and TK that the physics content of the law of conservation of energy should be transformed into a graph by using functional tools of microcomputer-based laboratory and the representations could be appropriately organized to deliver the transformed content knowledge in the teaching process of interactive lecture demonstration with microcomputer-based laboratory.

4.1.3. The 3rd preservice physics teacher(PPT-3): male, 24 years old, no teaching experience, programming working experience

PPT-3 was 24 years old male. PPT-3 finished Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Faculty of Science, Khon Kaen University, Thailand. PPT-3 had no school teaching and no tutor experience but he had two years working experience in programming after finishing the degree. The PPT-3 selected a physics topic of projectile motion, and speed of sound for planning learning activities of the first and the second design tasks, respectively. The design tasks could be summarized with TPACK framework as display in Table 4.

Table 4. Summary of TPACK component for the 3rd preservice physics teacher

TPACK component

Design task CK PK TK PCK TPK TCK TPACK

Pn Cn Pn Cn Pn Cn Pn Cn Pn Cn Pn Cn Nn Pn Cn An

1st design task V V V < < < V

2nd design task V V V V* V* V*

Note: Pn = perception level, Cn = conception level, An = action level, Nn = no perception, * = transformation of knowledge, ** = generation of knowledge

In the details of the first design task, PPT-3 identified the physics content knowledge of projectile motion was difficult-to-realize phenomena which may lead students to misinterpretation of the knowledge and cause student to held alternative conceptions of the phenomena (CK-Cn). Thus, slow motion video (TK-Pn) of falling objects has been planned to introduce the phenomena and help them realizing the difficulty (TCK-Pn). PPT-3 mentioned that student have collaboratively participated (PCK-Pn), after watching the slow motion video, in hands-on experiment (PK-Pn) of falling object. Finally, the PPT-3 detailed the use of slow motion video at the end of classroom time to comparatively discuss phenomena of falling objects with all students (TPK-Pn). These evidences implicitly indicated a summative evaluation that this participant had a perceptual status of the technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK-Pn) because the PPT-3 was able to identify difficulty of content and perceive the need for transformation of the content. Also, the participant was able to identify most of TPACK components but not describe the "how to" of each component and reason why the participant has to use.

In the details of the second design task, PPT-3 indicated a conceptualization in the specific characteristics of physics content knowledge (CK-Cn) of speed of sound that the CK is an abstract concept which causes students to held alternative conceptions of the concept such as different temperature has no effect on speed of sound. Therefore, PPT-3 has plamed to use discrepant events to puzzle student's prior knowledge and stimulate disequilibrium state of exist cognitive structure (PCK-Cn) in the teaching practice of interactive lecture demonstration (PK-Pn). The integration between microcomputer-based laboratory and computer simulation (TK-Pn) has been mentioned and explained the sequence of using microcomputer-based laboratory, to represent speed of sound phenomena at macroscopic level, and computer simulation, to represent microscopic level of speed of sound phenomena, (TCK-Cn) in the interactive lecture demonstration method (TPK-Cn). In according to the transactional relationship between knowledge about content, pedagogy, and technology, this evidence indicated that PPT-3 had an actionable mission statement of teaching practice and learning process based on the technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK-An) because the PPT-3 revealed a conceptual link between CK, PK, and TK and also provided mission statement that was actionable in science classroom.

4.2. Conceptual learning in physics of secondary school students (Results from preservice physics teachers' classroom research)

In Table 5 that follows, it presents results of secondary school students' learning in physics that the results was experimental outcome from teaching practice of three preservice physics teachers. The findings suggest that preservice physics teachers' TPACK comprehension influenced their teaching practice of physics and the teaching practice impacted secondary school students' conceptual learning in physics.

Table 5. Summary of students' conceptual learning in physics class of three preservice physics teachers

Preservice physics teacher & secondary school student

Preservice physics teachers' teaching practice

Conceptual understanding

Students' physics learning

Conceptual change

Content used

Pedagogy used

Technology used

Comparison of both test scores

Reflection Reflection Reflection

1st preservice Microcomputer- (13.33%), (26.67%), (60.00%),

Properties of sound wave Structured-inquiry learning based AC Refraction Refraction

physics teacher (Grade 11, No. of student = 30) laboratory & Computer-simulated AC, SC (decrease) SC (increase) Significant difference (90.00%) (33.33%), Diffraction (76.67%) (33.33%), Diffraction (63.33%),

experiment Interference (23.33%)

2n preservice physics teacher (Grade 10, No. of student = 37)

The law of conservation of energy

Interactive

lecture demonstrat ion

Microcomputer-based laboratory

NC, AC, SC

AC (decrease)

SC (increase)

Significant difference

Potential energy (13.51%), Law of Conservation of energy (10.81%)

Potential energy (2.70%), Kinetic energy (2.70%), Law of Conservation of energy (8.11%)

Speed of Speed of Speed of

sound in sound in sound in

3rd preservice physics teacher (Grade 11, No. of student = 32) Microcomputer- different different different

Speed of Interactive lecture based laboratory & AC AC, SC (decSreCase) (increase) Significant temperature (34.38%), material (21.88%) temperature (6.25%)

sound demonstrat ion Computer-simulated difference Speed of sound in

experiment different material (12.50%)

Note: NC = No conception, AC = Alternative conception, Sc = Scientific conception, D = Differentiation, CE = Class extension, R = Reconceptualization

Post-test

5. Discussions

The qualitative findings clearly provide empirical evidences that conceptual ecology of TPACK for all three preservice physics teachers has been transformed and some categories of knowledge have been generated after attending in the case-based ICT module. In addition, the findings also show that the preservice physics teachers' TPACK on the second design task were higher level of competency than the first design task. In more details, it is interesting to note that PPT-1 has generated perception of PCK, conception of TPK and TCK, in order to the development of TPACK competency at conception level. In addition, it is evidence that TPK and TCK of PPT-2 have been transformed from level of perception to conception as similar as PPT-3 who has transformed PCK, TPK, and TCK at perception level toward conception level. According to their transformation of knowledge, competency level of TPACK for PPT-2 and PPT-3 were developed up to a higher level, from level of perception to conception and action respectively. This result shows that the case-based ICT module had a positive impact on the development of TPACK competency of preservice physics teachers. The evidence is consistent with research findings that case-based teaching for teacher professional development induced a significant change in their abilities high-quality learning activities (Dori & Hercovitz, 2005). Moreover, Chai et al. (2011) reported the use of the core ICT module

to model preservice teachers' TPACK that the preservice teachers' perceived relations between content knowledge and TPACK changes form insignificant to significant.

6. Conclusion

This paper reported on the use of case-based learning approach to foster preservice physics teachers' TPACK competency and their knowledge transformation of integrating ICT into physics teaching practices after attending the case-based ICT module. In an effort to better serve the needs of high quality physics teachers, the results of this case study illustrated that the competency of TPACK could be particularly considered as a core attributes for future physics teachers because it could influence practices of physics teaching method for teacher. Also, physics teacher's competency of TPACK could directly impact on students' conceptual learning in physics. By the way of this study, case-based learning approach can play an effective part in preparing and professing the TPACK competency for physics teachers.

Acknowledgements

The author wishes to gratefully acknowledge the financial support by Faculty of Education, Khon Kaen University, Thailand, for conducting the present study, and by Khon Kaen University, Thailand, for contributing this present study.

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