Developing Teachers’ Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge for 21st Century Learning (TPACK-21CL) Through Design Thinking

Project Number
OER 05/13 KHL

Project Duration
December 2013 - December 2016


In order to help students foster 21st century competencies, teachers need the expertise to design learning experiences that support in problem-solving, collaboration, and knowledge construction through the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT). This can be defined as their technological pedagogical content knowledge for 21st Century Learning (TPACK-21CL). Teachers' TPACK-21CL is inextricably linked to their competencies for design thinking as research has found TPACK to be knowledge that emerges as teachers engage in ICT lesson design. Particularly, design thinking encapsulates how designers manage the design episodes that occur throughout a design process through the creative experimentation of ideas with design artifacts as well as the iterative reflection of how the design problem can be framed and reframed to derive an appropriate solution. Such kinds of design processes are found to be messy and episodic whereas current ICT lesson design frameworks depict systematic and procedural processes. Empirical studies found that teachers tend to use ICT to support content transmission and regurgitation. Our findings from OER12/10 KHL also show teachers to be weak in planning ICT lessons with the features of 21st century learning. One reason could be that teachers may have yet to develop the expertise for design thinking and the current ICT lesson design frameworks may not serve as adequate scaffolds. This project aims to examine the effectiveness of a lesson planning process that is anchored on design thinking, and how it can be used to support teachers' development of TPACK-21CL. This process will be piloted in NIE ICT classes as well as with in-service teachers at Hong Kah Primary School and Geylang Methodist School (Primary). The effectiveness of this process will be examined in four aspects which forms the research questions. The first aspect will be through examining the change in teachers' perceived design efficacy and perceived efficacy in TPACK-21CL before and after applying the design process. This will be examined through pre and post study surveys. The second aspect will examine how the process influences the quality of ICT lesson plans designed by teachers. This will be examined through content analysis of teachers' ICT lesson plans with a rubric designed to evaluate 21st century learning dimensions. To examine how lesson design influences classroom practices for the teachers from the two schools, lesson observations and teacher interviews will be made to assess how the process has influenced the actual implementation of 21st century learning in classrooms. The final research question will use content analysis of teachers' discussions during design, screen captures of them working on design over the computer, their design reflections, as well as interviews as process reviews to examine how the process can be improved. This project extends the work started in OER12/10 KHL through the development of an ICT lesson design process that can be used in NIE's pre-service ICT courses, as well as for teacher professional development in Singapore schools. It expands and deepens current research of TPACK by attending to its core competency, which is design thinking. This is an important aspect that determines the quality of ICT-integrated lessons and consequently the TPACK of teachers.

Funding Source

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