The Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework is built on Lee Shulman’s theory that subject matter knowledge should be integrated into pedagogical content knowledge. TPACK proposes that educators should be equally versatile in pedagogical principles and technological advances as they are in subject matter knowledge. In other words, TPACK proposes a set of standards of how technology, pedagogy, and subject matter blend together. The framework was presented originally at the annual conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education in 2007 by Mishra and Koehler.

Content Knowledge (CK)

CK refers to the instructor’s knowledge as the subject matter expert. It encompasses theories, concepts, methods, scientific approaches, practices, evidence-based reasoning in the discipline.

Pedagogical Knowledge (PK)

PK denotes the instructor’s knowledge of the processes and methods for teaching and learning. This includes the understanding of learning theories, classroom management, student assessment, cognitive, social, and developmental theories of learning.

Technology Knowledge (TK)

TPACK framework formulates the TK definition around the Committee of Information Technology Literacy of the National Research Council’s (NRC) concept of Fluency of Information Technology (FITness), which states that instructions not only should be able to understand information technology but also to apply it to their daily lives and at work and adapt to changes in that field. TK is, thus perceived as an open-ended, developmental process of adapting to technological changes.

Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK)

The convergence of pedagogy and subject matter is at the core of the PCK notion. Shulman points out that the way the instructor interprets, represents, and adapts the subject matter to the learners’ needs and their prior knowledge constitutes the concept of PCK.

Technological Content Knowledge (TCK)

The codependent nature of the relationship between technology and subject matter is at the core of the TCK concept. Koehler and Mishra emphasize many historical examples illustrating this codependency, e.g., Roentgen’s discovery of X-rays technology greatly impacted the field of medicine. TCK concept examines the nature of the relationship between technology and subject matter in terms of which technologies can best foster the understanding of content and/or how the nature of content determines the use of technology or the other way around.

Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK)

TPK refers to the relationship between technology and teaching/learning theories. Even though Koehler and Mishra did not explicitly use the term Educational Technology (EdTech), the concept of TPK could be loosely connected to the more contemporary concept of EdTech as both describe how an array of software and hardware can be used in education to engage students and help them achieve learning goals.


TPAC Model

Key Takeaways

  • Emphasizes the overlap of content, technology, and pedagogy
  • Models ways in which technology can be incorporated into teaching

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