The Teaching Teachers for the Future project has undoubtedly been a success, and the general mood amongst participants is that it is critical for us to continue the momentum. TTF2 provides us with an opportunity to continue build upon the foundations established by the first TTF project. In particular, we have the opportunity to conduct a coordinate design research program that examines how to most effectively approaches to developing pre-service teachers’ technology-pedagogy-and-content knowledge (TPACK) capabilities.
Under the guise of this research question we could:
- Perform a mapping using a consistent framework across institutions of the tasks that universities are integrating into their programs in order to develop pre-service teachers’ TPACK capabilities (in TTF1 we did not see how other universities were integrating technology, so could not learn from one another).
- Conduct the most massive coordinated design research project in history in order to determine the activities and strategies that are most effective in developing pre-service teachers’ TPACK capabilities.
For point 1, we could collect information about each TPACK related task in terms of the technology/ies that are focused upon, the pedagogies that are used, and the content area that is addressed. At Macquarie we completed this by creating a 12 item categorisation system for technologies (Web 2.0, desktop software, audio creation, video production, image editing, etc). Pedagogies were categorised in terms of the degree of construction and negotiation required (from transmissive to dialogic, constructive, and co-constructive). Content was not only categorised in terms of subject area (English, History, Maths, Science, etc), but also in terms of the revised Blooms’ type of knowledge (factual, procedural, conceptual, metacogitive) and cognitive processes (Remember, Understand, Apply, Analyse, Evaluate, Create). This could all then be collected and shared using a national web-portal.
The massive cooperative design research project could then have academics at each university trialing new approaches (or even evaluating existing approaches) using consistent pre and post measures of attitude and ability. For instance, before activities we could ask pre-service teachers approximately 10 easy to answer (common) questions about their perceptions and confidence relating to the technology in question and teaching with it. The task (learning design) itself could then be explained also using a consistent framework, for instance using pedagogical patterns schema. Then post measures and open ended responses could be collected to examine the impact of the approaches and why they were (or were not) successful. In meta-analyses researchers attempt to compare different teaching strategies that were measured using often quite different approaches, however a massive cooperative design initiative would enable us to measure using a common instrument. Once again, all of this information including the resources used in the task could be collected via the web, so we not only have data relating to the impact of the approach and pre-service teacher perceptions of it, but the approach is shared with the rest of the community for reuse (and even re-evaluation for reliability purposes if desired).
Thus this study would then enable the TTF community to (somewhat) reliably compare and understand the way in which different tasks impact on students’ TPACK capabilities, and share our curriculum innovations so that pre-service teachers from all Australian Universities can benefit from the inspiration and hard work of the TTF community.