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Educational Technology, Teacher Knowledge, and Classroom Impact: A Research Handbook on Frameworks and Approaches

Educational Technology, Teacher Knowledge, and Classroom Impact: A Research Handbook on Frameworks and Approaches
Author(s)/Editor(s): Robert N. Ronau (University of Louisville, USA), Christopher R. Rakes (University of Louisville, USA) and Margaret L. Niess (Oregon State University, USA)
Copyright: ©2012
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-750-0
ISBN13: 9781609607500
ISBN10: 1609607503
EISBN13: 9781609607517



Recent technological innovation has altered the way educators approach teaching and learning. These new technologies provide countless advantages in the classroom; however, we are not yet clear on how they should be implemented. The pedagogical value of specific technology tools and the cumulative effects of technology exposure over time on student learning are two areas that need to be explored in order to better determine the effectiveness of technology as a teaching tool.

Educational Technology, Teacher Knowledge, and Classroom Impact: A Research Handbook on Frameworks and Approaches provides a framework for evaluating and conducting educational technology research, sharing research on educational technology in education content areas, and proposing structures to guide, link, and build new structures with future research. This book provides essential support for compiling the resulting literature and envisioning future research directions in this area.


Education Technology, Teacher Knowledge, and Classroom Impact: A Research Handbook on Frameworks and Approaches provides a compilation of strategies that can be used to conduct research, a description of the current research field, and an examination of the role of research in guiding practice. This book began with a review of literature (Ronau et al., 2010) whose original purpose to conduct a meta-analysis was de-railed as we examined the quality of evidence presented and found major gaps in the content and validity of findings that appeared to be the result of inconsistencies in design and reporting of results such as: application and alignment with clearly articulated theoretical frameworks, quality of validity evidence to justify the development of new theoretical frameworks, and quality of validity and reliability evidence provided to justify claims from primary and secondary analyses. We therefore set out to compile a guide to provide structural models and example studies for researchers and practitioners as they develop, implement, and interpret future research. The book is divided into three sections to address this purpose.

The first section begins the handbook by reviewing strategies that have been used to conduct research on teacher knowledge for educational technology. Niess discusses conceptions of Technology, Pedagogy, and Content Knowledge (TPACK), a leading conceptual framework for examining teacher knowledge for educational technology. Koehler, Mishra, and Shin conduct a systematic review of ways that have been used to measure TPACK. Hammond, Alexander, and Bodzin wrap up this section by discussing measurement issues associated with the development of value added models for TPACK on student achievement.

The second section examines the current landscape of educational technology and teacher knowledge research. Ronau and Rakes focus on teacher knowledge, conducting a systematic review of literature to develop the representativeness and relevance of the Comprehensive Framework of Teacher Knowledge (CFTK). Bell, Juersivich, Hammond, and Bell focus on the benefits and challenges of integrating dynamic representation software in mathematics, science, and social studies. Boling and Beatty conclude this section by concentrating on the challenges of preparing new teachers to integrate technology through the Cognitive Apprenticeship Model (CAM).

The third section considers the role of research in guiding practice. Lee and Manfra begin this section by discussing how vernaculars for TPACK arise in social studies. Pape, Irving, Bell, Shirley, Owens, Owens, Bostic, and Lee present principles of effective instruction in mathematics for the integration of classroom connectivity technology. Johnston and Moyer-Packenham compile three frameworks to present a model for examining preservice teacher knowledge of integrating technology in mathematics. Piro and Marksbury discuss the benefits and challenges of implementing WebQuests in the classroom through the lenses of CFTK and TPACK. Miller examines the role of knowledge of context in the effective implementation of technology in the study of mathematics. Slykhuis and Krall conducted a systematic review of literature to examine the use of educational technology to teach science concepts. Lyublinskaya and Tournaki developed a rubric to assess TPACK based on evidence from a year-long professional development program. Ronau and Rakes conclude the handbook by examining research design issues that have inhibited the field from constructing high quality evidence to guide future research and practice.

Duality of Teacher Knowledge Frameworks

This preface would not be complete without some discussion of the dual nature of teacher knowledge frameworks such as TPACK and CFTK. Theoretical frameworks of teacher knowledge are often used as models to guide and interpret studies by naming and describing the knowledge being represented. The same models are also often used as a guide to break apart components of the knowledge that they represent, measure those individual components, interpret the measures and the measures of the interactions of those parts, and then employed as a map to form these results into an overall outcome. This duality of purposes may lead to a particularly potent threat to validity as teacher knowledge research progresses to ways of measuring teacher knowledge and examining links between teacher knowledge and student achievement. For example, Mathematics Knowledge for Teaching (MKT) (Hill, Schilling, & Ball, 2004), one of the most prominent teacher knowledge frameworks in mathematics, has been used to name and describe the types of subject matter knowledge teachers need to teach mathematics and how that knowledge interacts with pedagogical knowledge and sometimes knowledge of students. Hill, Ball, Blunk, Goffney, & Rowan (2007) recognized, however, that the achievement measures created as proxies are not always representative of the targeted underlying constructs (i.e., achievement does not always equal knowledge). As a result of their studies, they recommended that studies proposing to measure teacher knowledge need to be concerned not only with content validity of the items developed, but also with convergent validity of the achievement measure with observational measures.

TPACK and CFTK are relatively new frameworks compared to MKT; they represent important advances to the field of teacher knowledge research, because they describe and define teacher knowledge not accounted for by other frameworks (i.e., TPACK describes the interaction of technology knowledge with pedagogical content knowledge; CFTK describes complex interactions of teacher knowledge). Measures for TPACK have begun to emerge, but the items developed have typically measured TPACK achievement or behavior as proxies for TPACK. The rigorous application of content validity considerations coupled with convergent validity considerations has not yet been applied to the measurement of TPACK. For example, although some studies have parsed TPACK into measures of its subcomponents (i.e., technological knowledge (TK), content knowledge (CK), pedagogical knowledge (PK), pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), technological content knowledge (TCK), and technological pedagogical knowledge (TPK)), the convergent validity between the subcomponents and the overall TPACK construct has not yet been explored. Similarly, the CFTK framework has begun to re-define conceptualizations of teacher knowledge; as this line of research matures, instruments will need to be developed to measure its constructs in valid, reliable ways and be able to interpret the measures in terms of the overall construct (i.e., concurrent and convergent validity). Such considerations are a step beyond the issues presented in this volume. We hope that this handbook challenges and supports this future research direction.

Robert N. Ronau, University of Louisville
Christopher Rakes, Institute of Education Sciences
Margaret L. Niess, Oregon State University


Hill, H. C., Ball, D. L., Blunk, M., Goffney, I. M., & Rowan, B. (2007). Validating the ecological assumption: The relationship of measure scores to classroom teaching and student learning. Measurement: Interdisciplinary Research & Perspectives, 5, 107-118.

Hill, H. C., Schilling, S. G., & Ball, D. L. (2004). Developing measures of teachers' mathematics knowledge for teaching. Elementary School Journal, 105, 11-30.

Author's/Editor's Biography

Robert Ronau (Ed.)
Robert N. Ronau, a Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Louisville, has research interests and publications that include implementation of instructional technology, Technology, Pedagogy, And Content Knowledge (TPACK); teacher knowledge, Comprehensive Framework for Teacher Knowledge (CFTK), and teacher preparation and assessment, Diagnostic Assessments for Mathematics and Science Teachers (DTAMS). Over the last twenty years, he has played a critical role in numerous state-wide and local grant efforts including development of State Wide Mathematics Core-Content and Assessments, LATTICE (Learning Algebra Through Technology, Investigation, and Cooperative Experience), the Secondary Mathematics Initiative (SMI) of PRISM (Partnership for Reform Initiatives in Science and Mathematics), Kentucky’s state-wide systemic reform initiative, Technology Alliance, Teaching K-4 Mathematics in Kentucky, the Park City/IAS Geometry Project, and U2MAST. He currently serves as a Co-PI on the NSF Funded project, Geometry Assessments for Secondary Teachers (GAST), and on a Curriculum Analysis project for the Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).

Christopher Rakes (Ed.)
Christopher R. Rakes is an associate research scientist at the Institute of Education Sciences whose research interests and publications include the teaching and learning of secondary mathematics, teacher knowledge, research design, and educational technology. His scholarly work involves multiple methods such as systematic review, meta-analysis, structural equation modeling (SEM), hierarchical linear modeling (HLM), and mixed methodology. He taught mathematics for ten years (eight in secondary; two in postsecondary) in both urban and rural settings, where he concentrated on helping at-risk students develop successful methods for learning mathematics.

Margaret Niess (Ed.)
Margaret (Maggie) L. Niess is Professor Emeritus of Mathematics Education at Oregon State University. Her research focuses primarily on the knowledge teachers rely on for integrating technologies in teaching mathematics and science, otherwise called Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge or TPACK. Her most recent book was Blended Online Learning and Instructional Design for TPACK: Emerging Research and Opportunities. She is currently co-principal investigator in a National Science Foundation grant titled: Child’s Play: Learning Computer Science Through Tabletop Games. She has authored multiple peer-reviewed journals and chapters including multiple teacher preparation books. She directed the design, implementation, and evaluation of an online Master of Science degree program for inservice K-12 mathematics and science teachers with an interdisciplinary science, mathematics, and technology emphasis. Her research has identified an online learning trajectory framing student-centered instructional strategies using a social metacognitive constructivist context. She has chaired multiple committees for the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE’s Technology Committee), American Educational Research Association’s (AERA’s SIG-TACTL called Technology as a Change Agent in Teaching and Learning), and the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE’s the Mathematics Education SIG and the Teacher Education SIG).


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