22 SES 05 B, Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Higher Education
We present the results of a study on university teachers’ professional knowledge, specifically, pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TCPK) of three lecturesfrom three disciplinary areas (Law; Nursing, and Engineering), and under different modalities of teaching (ordinary classes, tutorial work, on-line settings, etc.).
The project, entitled The professional knowledge of university teachers: construction processes and the transfer into teaching practice (financed by Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation in 2009-2011) was aimed at determining how PCK is acquired and expressed in university teaching practice. To this end, three initiate teachers (6 to 15 years of experience), were observed and interviewed to discover how their knowledge is expressed. Our working hypothesis is that the specificity of this stage of professional development is very important. An "initiate" is a teacher who is beyond the beginning stage, and in transit through the process of "construction of self confidence" of an experienced one.
The profound changes that are taking place in Higher Education in the recent times are having a great impact on the teaching processes and education of university teachers. Consequently, new curricular structures, new student-centred teaching methods, and new definitions of teachers’ work are generating new pedagogical demands, which are unprecedented. Specifically, European Higher Education Area (EHEA) guidelines require teaching that promotes significant learning, higher thought competences, learning how to learn, and the ability to develop reflexive thought.
Despite this, research on PCK university teaching is still uncommon for several reasons. Among them is the belief that the only relevant knowledge to be a university teacher is the discipline; its domain implies the competence of the "know how to say," synonymous with "teach" (Major y Palmer, 2006).
Research on PCK in Higher Education is highlighting the importance of other types of knowledge to the qualitative development of teaching and learning (Abell, 2008; Goodnough, 2006; Major y Palmer, 2006). Shulman (1986) introduced PCK and sparked a whole new wave of scholarly articles on teachers' knowledge of their subject matter and the importance of this knowledge for successful teaching. PCK refers therefore to a teacher’s ability to transform the content knowledge into powerful pedagogically forms adapted to student diversity (Grossman, Schoenfeld and Lee, 2005).
Koehler and Mishra, (2005), Mishra y Koehler (2006) introduced the construct of TPCK as a way of representing what teachers need to know about technology to teach. Consistent with this situated view of technology, they proposed a framework describing teachers’ understanding of the complex interplay between technology, content, and pedagogy. Their perspective is consistent with other approaches that have attempted to extend Shulman’s idea of PCK to the domain of technology. Subsequently, Angeli and Valanides (2009) proposed the construct of ICT-PCK as a strand of TPCK.
So our research questions are the following: how do we define the knowledge of university teachers? What knowledge do they possess and which should they possess to address the increasing challenges for change resulting from the demands of the EHEA? What is the place of technology in this context?
Abell, S. (2008). Twenty Years later: Does pedagogical content knowledge remain a useful idea? International Journal of Science Education, 30 (10), 1405-1416. Angeli, Ch. & Valanides, N. (2009). Epistemological and methodological issues for the conceptualization, development, and assessment of ICT-TPCK: Advances in technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPCK). Computers & Education, 52, 154-16 Goodnough, K. (2006). Enhancing pedagogical content knowledge through self-study: an exploration of problem-based learning. Teaching in Higher Education, 11 (3), 301-318. Grossman, P., Schoenfeld, A., & Lee, C. (2005). Teaching subject matter. In L. Darling-Hammond & J. Bransford (Eds.). Preparing Teachers for a Changing World (pp. 201-231). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Koehler, M. & Mishra, P. (2005). What happens when teachers design Education Technology? The development of Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge. Journal Educational Computing Research, 32 (2), 131-152. Major, C. & Palmer, B. (2006). Reshaping teaching and learning: The transformation of faculty pedagogical content knowledge. Higher Education, 51, 619-647. Mishra, P. & Koheler, M. (2006). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A Framework for Teacher Knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108 (69, 1017-1054. Shulman, L. (1986). Those who understand: Knowledge grow in teaching. Educational Researcher, 15 (2), 4-14. Stake, R. (2000). Case Studies. In N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (Eds.) Handbook of Qualitative Research. Second Edition (pp. 435-454). Thousand Oaks (California): Sage Publications.
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