ERG SES D 01, Technology and Education
Teaching is a complex activity that takes place in an ill-structured, dynamic environment, hinging upon complex cognitive and strategic skills (Mishra & Koehler, 2006). Historically, teaching competence has been deeply linked first to the content knowledge, and then to a pedagogical competence, till when Shulman (1986) advanced the integrated knowledge named Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK).
Today, as technologies have progressively gained space in the educational discourse (also due to the potentialities of innovation they seem to suggest), integrating them into teaching practice has become more and more important (European Council, 2000; 2009).
The highly complex knowledge that supports this integration is known as Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK or TPCK, Koehler & Mishra, 2006; Angeli, Valanides, 2009; Harris, Hofer, 2009). This can be defined as the “teachers’ concurrent and interdependent content, general pedagogy, and technology understanding” (Harris & Hofer 2009), that hinges also upon the single forms of interaction between each knowledge base with the others. Moreover, as some revision of this concept suggested (Angeli, Valanides, 2009; Chai, Koh, Tsai, 2013), it considers context and learners understanding as well as teacher’s beliefs and practical experience.
Viewing teacher knowledge in terms of TPACK or TPCK (Koehler & Mishra, 2006; Angeli & Valanides,2009) has significant implications for teacher education, that is at its best when honoring and enacting the situative, rich connections among subject matter, pedagogy and technology (Koehler & Mishra, 2005; 2006; Angeli & Valanides 2013).
Considering this theoretical framework, the research wants to investigate the models for initial teacher education focusing on the technological, pedagogical and content knowledge integration (Mishra & Koehler, 2006; Angeli & Valanides, 2009), within the development of student teachers’ design competence.
After the first phase of literature review about the existing educational models for initial teacher training that explicitly adopt technology integration when addressing the design competence development, the research wants to verify the efficacy of a procedural design instrument.
In fact, the research group of University of Padova (De Rossi, Messina, Tabone, and Tonegato) elaborated an operative instrument aimed to the development of the integrated design competence (Messina & De Rossi, 2015). Here, traditional elements of design (namely context/students, aims, time, contents, skills, methodology, and evaluation) are integrated with innovative ones (namely ICT -Angeli & Valanides, 2009-, activity type -Harris & Hofer, 2009-, forms of knowledge -Harris & Hofer, 2009-, knowledge representation -Cope & Kalantzis, 2000). Moreover, some explanatory elements are introduced about didactic approach’ implicit dimensions within the design of learning units: models, methods, formats, techniques, and strategies (Messina et al. 2015).
The main objectives of this part of the study are to investigate if the proposed operative instrument activates a cognitive procedure that allows student teachers to integrate each and every element of the design; if the use of the proposed operative instrument influences the modification of student teachers’ attitudes about technology (Venkatesh & Davis, 2000; Angeli & Valanides, 2009; Messina, De Rossi, Tabone, & Tonegato, in progress).
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