Technological pedagogical content knowledge : relationships to learning ecologies and social learning networks

Placeholder Show Content


Improving learning experiences for all students is the ultimate goal of research in technology use in education. With more availability and better usability of technology in schools, the potential for teachers to use digital tools in schools is greater than ever. However a key factor determining whether new technologies are adopted is the extent to which teachers know how to use them to support students' learning. The special knowledge of how technologies can support students' learning of subject area content is known as technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK). This study explored the relationship of accomplished teachers' TPACK confidence to their use of technology with students and to their teaching and learning contexts. In an online survey, 307 National Board Certified teachers provided information about the frequency and breadth of their computer use with students; their use of computers in their personal lives; the school, classroom, and personal resources available to them for learning; and the people in their learning networks supporting their learning to use new technologies for teaching. Although the representativeness of the sample was limited and the measures self-reported, they provided rich opportunities to discover relationships and suggest avenues for supporting teacher learning of new technologies. Analyses showed that these accomplished teachers' confidence in their knowledge of how to use new technologies for teaching was different from their confidence in using technologies more generally. Further, TPACK confidence related to student use of computers in the classroom. No associations were found between TPACK confidence and age, gender, grade levels, subject areas, or student populations. However, confidence in teaching with technology did relate to measures of the teachers' learning resources. More varied learning resources and more productive social learning networks were associated with higher TPACK confidence. Three key types of support provided by learning partners -- learning together, posing challenges, and connecting the teacher to others to learn from -- were significantly more common among high-TPACK teachers. Findings in this study point to ways we might further understand, and subsequently increase, teacher confidence in using new technologies to support student learning. Several questions are raised for future research: Do learning resources lead to confidence in knowledge, or does confidence lead to awareness of existing resources? To what extent can TPACK be measured without first assessing the teacher's PCK? And how might we develop survey measures that reliably capture the complexity of technological pedagogical content knowledge? Understanding TPACK and the conditions under which it develops is an important field of research, as we strive to help teachers learn to use new technologies effectively to support powerful student learning.


Type of resource text
Form electronic; electronic resource; remote
Extent 1 online resource.
Publication date 2011
Issuance monographic
Language English


Associated with Forssell, Karin Sigrid
Associated with Stanford University, School of Education.
Primary advisor Barron, Brigid
Primary advisor Goldman, Shelley V
Thesis advisor Barron, Brigid
Thesis advisor Goldman, Shelley V
Thesis advisor Borko, Hilda
Advisor Borko, Hilda


Genre Theses

Bibliographic information

Statement of responsibility Karin Sigrid Forssell.
Note Submitted to the School of Education.
Thesis Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2011.
Location electronic resource

Access conditions

© 2011 by Karin Sigrid Forssell
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).

Also listed in

Loading usage metrics...