Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge

About Tpck

TPCK is a framework that identifies the knowledge teachers need to teach effectively with technology. The TPCK framework extends Shulman’s idea of Pedagogical Content Knowledge.

At the heart of the TPCK framework, is the complex interplay of three primary forms of knowledge: the What (content), the How (pedagogy), and technology. The TPCK approach goes beyond seeing these three knowledge bases in isolation. TPCK also emphasizes the new kinds of knowledge that lie at the intersections between them, representing four more knowledge bases teachers applicable to teaching with technology: Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK), Technological Content Knowledge (TCK), Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK), and the intersection of all three circles, Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK).

Effective technology integration for pedagogy around specific subject matter requires developing sensitivity to the dynamic, transactional relationship between these components of knowledge situated in unique contexts. Individual teachers, grade-level, school-specific factors, demographics, culture, and other factors ensure that every situation is unique, and no single combination of content, technology, and pedagogy will apply for every teacher, every course, or every view of teaching. (

How do I put this theory in practice?

Professors Judi Harris and Mark Hofer from the College of William and Mary recognized that the framework needed more support for application and took the TPACK framework a step further. They made several assumptions regarding teacher planning:

  1. Effective teachers first determine what content and standards need to be taught/learned.
  2. Then they determine the best instructional methods for learning/teaching that complement the content to be taught/learned.
  3. Finally, they match the technology and other tools in order to have the best fit for teaching and learning.

content + pedagogy + technology (tools) = effective technology integration

This line of thinking inspired their work on Activity Types. These are documents to support teachers in their balanced approach to teaching and learning.

College of William and Mary Activity Types Documents

Introduction to TPCK