Running Head: Student Difficulty Incorporating Expertise student Difficulty Incorporating Expertise

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Student Difficulty Incorporating Expertise


As new advanced technologies have come to our classrooms, there is increased interest in the essential roles and qualities of teacher knowledge bases necessary for successful technology integration.

What should constitute knowledge bases that we expect our future teachers to gain related to pedagogically sound technology integration? Employing the Shulman's teacher knowledge base as a theoretical lens, this study examined the complexity of pre-service teachers' technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPCK) in the context of integrating problem based learning (PBL) and information and communications technology (ICT). Ninety-seven pre-service teachers in this study engaged in a collaborative lesson design project where they applied pedagogical knowledge about PBL to design a technology integrated lesson in their subject area of teaching. Data were collected from two sources: survey and lesson design artifacts.

Research Question

What do you see as the main strength and main limitation of PBL?

What do you see as the main strength and limitation of integrating ICT tools into your PBL lesson?

Literature Review

Knowledge base for teaching

What constitutes knowledge bases that we expect our future teachers to gain in teacher education programs? Historically, teachers' knowledge bases have focused on two forms of knowledge: content knowledge (what to teach) and pedagogical knowledge (how to teach). To teach biology, for instance, one should have content knowledge on several subject topics covered in a biology curriculum and pedagogical knowledge on theories and methods related to learning, assessment, and classroom management.

About two decades ago, Shulman (1986, 1987) criticised traditional teacher education for treating content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge as separated domains of teacher knowledge bases. He argued that different subjects have different content structures, so that teachers should have an in depth understanding of how content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge are inter-related.

For this reason, Shulman (1986) proposed a third form of teacher knowledge,pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), defined as knowledge related to "the way of representing and formulating the subject that make it comprehensible to others… an understanding of what makes the learning of specific topics easy or difficult" (p.9). In addition to PCK, he proposed six broad types of knowledge as the teachers' knowledge base: content knowledge, general pedagogical knowledge, curriculum knowledge, general knowledge of learners and their characteristics, general knowledge of educational contexts (e.g. classroom, school, communities, cultures, etc).

Shulman's framework for teacher knowledge highlights the importance of the complex interrelationship between teachers' knowledge about both content and pedagogy, and the need for teachers to learn about variable ways of representing subject matter.


Context for this study

The participants in this study were ninety-seven pre-service teachers in Singapore, enrolled in a twelve-week module on the ICT integration for teaching and learning.

Participants were from elementary and secondary education programs: fifty (52.6%) and forty-five (47.4%) students respectively (two students did not complete the survey). Regarding genders, sixty-six (69.5%) students were female, and twenty-nine (30.5%) students were male. The average age was 26.4 with approximately 5.25 months of contract teaching experiences in schools prior to taking this module. Regarding previous exposure to pedagogical knowledge on PBL, fifty-two ...
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