Exploring TPACK among Pre‐Service Teachers in Australia and Israel

September 21, 2018

Source: British Journal of Educational Technology 


The ubiquitous nature of technology in the world has not yet translated into the ubiquitous use of technology to transform learning and teaching. Teachers lack the confidence and competence to integrate technology across a broad range of tools within a range of contexts. Technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) has become a common framework to explore technology within teaching and teacher education. However, little research exists to explore the similarities and differences of TPACK between different teacher education programmes, within different countries or even different disciplines, especially in a secondary context. Using a self‐report online survey, this study sought to compare and contrast TPACK results from pre‐service teachers studying in secondary teacher education programmes in Australia and Israel.

Findings suggest that TPACK is higher in Australia, and in both countries for those students who were aged over 26. There were no significant differences between gender and disciplines reported. The paper also discusses broad‐scale implications for the future of research in TPACK.

A regional university in Australia collaborated with a teaching college in Israel to explore TPACK differences between countries and discipline areas within the secondary pre-service teacher context. This study provides a unique exploration of TPACK comparing the differences in TPACK between the two countries and between disciplines within the secondary pre-service teacher education. TPACK was found to be higher in Australia, and in both Australia and Israel TPACK was found to be higher in those students who were aged over 26 years.

A comparative approach to studying TPACK provides an opportunity to explore the phenomena of TPACK beyond a single site or case. If this approach is extended to multiple sites, it provides the ability to draw generalisation inferences from the data rather than report on what happens at a single site. When research is reproduced in multiple places, it not only assists in the modification or development of more robust data collection tools but also provides the ability to report more broadly on the phenomena being studied. This broader outlook on the concept of TPACK contributes to researchers and practitioners more fully understanding the development of TPACK in pre-service teachers.

The authors question what is next for TPACK? How do researchers move beyond single context studies? Given the large volume of work on TPACK, the addition of other single context studies is unlikely to move the field forward. The authors would value interest from others to create an international collaborative research team to explore these future ideas.

Updated: Nov. 14, 2018