Validating and Modelling Teachers' Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Integrative Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education

By Chai, Ching Sing; Jong, Morris Siu-Yung et al. | Educational Technology & Society, July 2019 | Go to article overview

Validating and Modelling Teachers' Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Integrative Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education


Chai, Ching Sing, Jong, Morris Siu-Yung, Yin, Hong-biao, Chen, Mengyuan, Zhou, Wenye, Educational Technology & Society


1. Introduction

The integrative approach of teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) has been advocated as a pedagogical approach to advance education for the 21st century (Hoeg & Bencze, 2017; Guzey, Moore, & Harwell, 2016). Self-directed and collaborative learning supported by meaningful use of technology and creative use of existing knowledge to solve authentic problems have formed the essence of 21st century learning (Dede, 2010; Howland, Jonassen, & Marra, 2012). Anchored with authentic problems that require engineering processes to resolve, the integrative STEM education fosters students' self-directed and collaborative learning and application of science, mathematics and technological knowledge (Kuo, Tseng & Yang, 2019). To date, research findings seem to indicate that when STEM activities are properly designed and implemented, they could raise students' motivation, promote higher-order thinking and integrated understanding, and prepare students for future career development (Fan & Yu, 2017; Kuo et al., 2019; Honey, Pearson, & Schweingruber, 2014).

Nonetheless, integrative STEM is a pedagogical challenge for many teachers and teacher educators as they may not possess sufficient engineering knowledge and design thinking concepts. There is limited research in teacher professional development for STEM (Al Salami, Makela, & de Miranda, 2017; Chai, 2019; Cavlazoglu & Stuessy, 2017; Lee, Hsu & Chang, 2019). In particular, the existing literature lacks validated surveys that are theoretically grounded to account for the various forms of technological, pedagogical and content knowledge that teachers need (Chai, Jong & Yan, 2020; Lee et al., 2019). The current validated surveys for STEM are limited to students' attitudes (e.g., Milner, Horan & Tracey, 2014), which is unsurprising given the finite number of studies pertaining to teacher professional development for integrative STEM (Al Salami et al., 2017; Cavlazoglu & Stuessy, 2017). The current surveys used to examine teachers' changes in STEM education were adapted from the general or science-specific teacher efficacy surveys (Nadelson, Callahan, Pyke, Hay, Dance, & Pfiester, 2013; Lee et al., 2019); or the selfconstructed questionnaire (see Kovarik, Patterson, Cohen, Sanders, Peterson, Porter, & Chowning, 2013). Given the growing importance of STEM education and the interdisciplinary approach with an emphasis on engineering design (Chai, 2019; English, 2017; Sanders, 2009), there emerges a need of validating a theoretically grounded STEM teachers' self-efficacy survey which can be theoretically grounded on the technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) framework that represents the new form of teacher's professional knowledge for 21st century learning (Mishra & Koehler, 2006; Howland et al., 2012).

2. Literature review

2.1. Teacher's self-efficacies for teaching integrative STEM

Teachers need to possess the relevant content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and associated skills to effect the reform. Teachers' self-efficacy refers to a teacher's self-assessment of his/her capacities to accomplish the pedagogical outcomes given the teaching tasks (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001). It is grounded in their self-assessment of their professional knowledge that includes their content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and the synthesis of these two forms of knowledge to build their pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) (Shulman, 1986). Thus, teachers' selfefficacy is multidimensional. It constitutes part of the psychological condition of a teacher to decide whether to embark on a reform and subsequently to devote the effort to bring the reform to fruition (Deehan, Danaia, & Mckinnon, 2017). The teacher's self-efficacy thus plays a critical role in determining the effectiveness of integrated STEM education on students' positive learning outcomes (Honey et al. …

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