by Stephen Downes
Jan 08, 2015
TPACK as shared practice: Toward a research agenda
David T. Jones,
The Weblog of (a) David Jones,
Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) has surfaced in the literature recently as "a popular framework for describing the knowledge required by teachers to successfully integrate technology," says David T. Jones. However, despite the newness of the field, old habits die hard: TPACK "has consistently been conceptualized as being a form of knowledge that is resident in the heads of individual teachers." Regular readers of OLDaily will know we need to look at knowledge more broadly. Jones writes, "the entire context, understood as an interactive system including people, materials and representational systems, in which an activity takes place becomes “a fundamental part of what is learned” (Putnam & Borko)." The post analyzes teacher knowledge as situated, social, distributed and protean (ie., tending or able to change frequently or easily).
Theory lags practice
This could be a lesson for knowledge in general: "Don’t ever make the mistake [of thinking] that you can design something better than what you get from ruthless massively parallel trial-and-error with a feedback cycle. That’s giving your intelligence much too much credit. (Linus Torvalds)." The fact is, the theory - or the principle, representation or model - comes only after the fact, is an abstraction of the fact, and is not the fact.
Preparing Students for Competency-Based Hiring
Get ready for this. The days of the transcript (if it was used at all) as a basis for hiring is about to change. Competencies, rather than transcripts or credentials, will become the hiring standard of the future (or - I should add - something like competencies (for a variety of reasons)). Stacey Clawson, writing for the Gates Foundation, writes, "Competency-based programs offer the potential to go beyond a limited view of higher education, giving students the opportunity to develop and practice the skills needed for a meaningful career, life, and citizenship." We can see the writing on the wall: "An easy-to-adopt, integrated infrastructure designed for institutions that serve the new student majority - older, part-time, lower income, and distance learners - is needed to help scale competency-based programs." She is thinking of the institutions, but my focus is on learners and employers. How will they access their competency definitions? How will these be presented in hiring decisions? An institutional infrastructure served or hosted by providers will be insufficient. I'm not sure the Gates Foundation understands this, though. Image: How to Manage a Camel.
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