Enhancing TPACK With Assistive Technology: Promoting Inclusive Practices in Preservice Teacher Education

Jun. 25, 2009

Source: Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(2).(2009). p. 186-207.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

As the global community continues the transition from an industrialized factory model to an information and now participatory networked-based society, educational technology will play a pivotal role in preparing students for their futures. Many teacher preparation programs are failing to provide preservice teachers with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to adopt and utilize technology effectively.

This article presents an enhanced technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge (TPACK) model that adds assistive technology as a means to promote inclusive educational practice for preservice teachers.

There are two distinct goals to the authors’ approach:
(a) to promote access, participation, and learning for students with learning disabilities who receive the majority of their instruction in general education classrooms, and
(b) to develop preservice teachers' abilities to identify efficacious technologies that will enhance students' transitions from school to work.

This article extends the TPACK model by providing specific examples of how assistive technology and instructional technology are distinct yet overlapping constructs.


An enhanced TPACK model that includes assistive technology with technology instruction early in the teacher preparation process addresses a need to further preservice teachers’ understandings of the benefits and barriers to appropriate assistive technology selection, adoption, implementation, and assessment.

The authors view assistive technology and instructional technology as overlapping supports for students with learning disabilities and other students who are educated in inclusive general education classrooms.

The authors’ approach calls for the development of preservice teachers’ knowledge, skills, and dispositions through a series of semester-long cyclical interactions with the enhanced TPACK model, which is supported by integrating course work, field experiences, and a broader community of practice. Therefore, teacher education programs must embed these constructs throughout their programs.

Updated: Feb. 21, 2010