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Analysing Technological Pedagogic Content Knowledge of Science Teacher Candidates According to Various Variables

1Mehmet Barış Horzum, 2Murat Demirbaş, 1Mustafa Bayrakcı

1Sakarya University Education Faculty; 2Kırıkkale University Education Faculty (Turkey)

[email protected], [email protected], [email protected]


The aim of this study was to analyze science teacher candidates’ technological pedagogic content knowledge level according to various variables. Technological pedagogic content knowledge of teacher candidates was measured by qualitative semi-structured interviews by the researchers. Teacher candidates’ content knowledge was analyzed according to sex, class, age and having technology education or not. In this study, qualitative data analysis techniques was used to analyze data. This study was carried out with 12 teacher candidates from Sakarya University, Faculty of Education, Science Teacher Teaching Department. According to the results of the study, it is found that they were provided with the sufficient education on technology and pedagogy at university.

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Comments about this Paper

Your comments are welcome

Date: 2012.12.20

Posted by Dominique Lambert (Belgium)

Message: The text clarifies a study on twelve “science” teachers, not chemistry in particular. The number of participants to this study seems to me a bit low to be considered as statistically worthy, but it gives an idea of the discrepancy between theoretical training at university and practice in the classroom. Most participants admit a lack of training to the use of new tools (whiteboard and tablet).

The study “thus recommends creating university curricula that include training to the use of tablets, whiteboards and ebooks. It is also important that in schools of education every class be equipped with whiteboards and tablets. The members of the school should use them to act as models for the teacher trainees”

To conclude, the study brings no innovative or concrete solutions to make teachers’ training more fit to real teaching practice in class, and it does not focus on chemistry.

This situation is common in various European countries (Italy, Austria, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands …) where young teachers who have just finished their studies have a bad command or no command at all of new technologies (ebook, podcast, quiz, e-learning, tablet and whiteboard, pH meters …). The recommendations of the study are minimalist, although necessary, but it lacks integration of the new tools into teaching.

Date: 2012.09.27

Posted by Ciara O'Driscoll (Ireland)

Message: This paper links the importance of Technology Pedagogy and Content Knowledge when teaching science. They survey and interviewed trainee teachers and asked them specifically about how comfortable they are with their content and technology knowledge. In relation to content knowledge, they felt that what they learn in university is far removed from the curriculum they need to teach and they felt generally that they needed more training in university on the use of smartboards, tablets and digital books in their lessons. This paper is very relevant to the Irish situation, as the use of ICT in education is becoming more of a necessity rather than a ‘choice’ in the classroom. Students live their social lives through social media sites and they relate the gathering of important information to their computer, tablet or phone screen. Educators should adapt their methodologies to include the use of technology to tap into the world of the modern young teenager and get them on-board and interested in the subject.
There is no reference in this paper to the uptake or attainment of chemistry, it was more general about the learning theories of education and the incorporation of technology into the subject. The paper refers to technology enriching and advancing the teaching of science by speeding up time via simulations of natural events (e.g., geological animations), saving time through data collection devices and/or recording data that would otherwise be hard to gather (e.g., digital probes), seeing things that could not otherwise be seen (e.g., digital microscopes) and organsing data that would otherwise be hard to organise (e.g., spreadsheets, graphical visualization models).
The study stated that the trainee teachers required more training at university. I agree strongly that technology training in university and continuous professional development in experienced teachers is very important. Students emerging form college more than likely have had a lot of experience with technology through assignments carried out with sensor and computers and they probably even received some of their own teaching in university through a VLE (virtual learning environment), however, this may not be enough for the trainee teacher to then themselves design a lesson or course using similar methods. I think the use of technology takes time to practice and motivation to use, therefor, substantial training should be required and weighted respectively in marks and grading overall for the teacher-training course.
Trained teachers also need training and encouragement, although the approach needs to be different as they may be comfortable with their methods and see moving to the use of technology as a lot of work, or even intimidating. Supplying teachers with the device is a good start and on-going ‘bite size’ training may work, however, if newly qualified teacher were coming into schools enthused and confident in the use of technology, they will be in a position to share with the department. In relation to keeping up with continuous progresses in research I think that being part of a mailing group or twitter account could help in spreading the word of new findings from studies and technologies in the area of chemistry.

They paper proposes that it is considered it crucial that trainee teachers have more qualified and thorough studies that are field oriented. They also recommend the formation of a curriculum in universities that includes teaching how to use tablets, smart boards and digital books. They advise that each class (in university) should get donated smart boards and tablets and that faculty members should actively use these devices to constitute a role model for trainee teachers.

Date: 2012.09.05

Posted by Nikolopoulos Dimitrios (Greece)

Message: This paper reports results regarding Technological Pedagogic Knowledge (TPK) of 12 trainee teachers from Sakarya University. The results are relevant to the subject area of Chemistry Is All Around Network (CIAAN). The authors emphasise on the TPACK framework. They present results collected from questionnaire data of the participating trainee teachers of Science Education. The collected TPK data are given analytically in text and are briefly discussed.
In my opinion, the paper reviews limited TPK literature data and does not analyse sufficiently causes for the students’ lack of motivation to study chemistry. It also fails to explain obstacles in addressing chemistry. Moreover, it does not report successful experiences in motivating students to study chemistry. These issues are of significance regarding CIANN.
The questionnaire data are few and, surely, need advanced statistical analysis, both regarding content and outcomes. In my opinion, such data should not rely on the personal opinion of the participants, at least mainly. Probably, three month repetitions after actual practising could be very useful as a feedback. This could enhance the applicability of the investigation and, most importantly, it will help the participants and the project on the whole. Due to the above limitations, the findings of this paper are hard to transfer to other situations or countries. In this sense, the CIANN may benefit only partly.
On the other hand, the paper addresses successfully the difficulties that chemistry teachers confront in their effort to stay updated to the continuous progresses of the research. In this filed, the authors present sufficiently the differences between personal estimations of the trainee teachers and implementation in classroom. Special reference is given to technology issues. Nevertheless the authors fail to propose solutions for secondary school level teachers regarding the most recent findings in the filed of chemistry. Lastly, the reference (Koehler & Mishra, 2005) is misplaced.

National Reports on successful experiences to promote lifelong learning for chemistry The national reports on chemistry successful experiences to promote lifelong learning for chemistry are now available on the related section of the project portal. The reports presents examples of successful experiences in the partner countries and the results of testing of ICT resources with science teachers.