Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge in the Mathematics Classroom

Summer, 2010

Source: Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education, v26 n4, p132-139 (Summer, 2010).
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

Teacher knowledge has long been a focus of many educational researchers. Current conceptualizations of teacher knowledge are beginning to reflect the knowledge and skills teachers need to successfully navigate increasingly technologically-rich mathematical classrooms with the addition of knowledge domains such as technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK). TPACK embodies a teacher’s ability to distinguish between the types of technology that are most suited to their content area and make decisions regarding its appropriate application.
This article argues that TPACK in mathematics can be characterized by four central components.

Components of Mathematical TPACK

1. Conception and Use of Technology
This component relates technology to pedagogical content knowledge by focusing on how the teacher can use technology to make the subject matter more comprehensible and accessible to students.

2. Technology-Based Mathematics Instruction
The second component of TPACK includes teachers’ knowledge of and ability to maneuver through various instructional issues specifically related to the use of technology in support of mathematics teaching and learning. Teachers need to understand that technology should be viewed part of a teacher’s instructional repertoire.

3. Management
The third component of TPACK in mathematics covers management issues specifically related to teaching and learning with technology.

4. Depth and Breadth of Mathematics Content
The final component of TPACK relies on a teachers’ subject-matter knowledge and deals with the increased responsibility teachers have to understand their content areas with both breadth and depth as a result of using technology as part of their instruction.

This article presents a portrait of effective TPACK in action and posing questions for technology-using teachers to consider as they embark on technology use in support of mathematics instruction.


The author concludes that development and understanding of TPACK, especially as it relates to specific content areas, is imperative because of the importance of technology’s appropriate use in educational settings. Ensuring technology’s proper use in educational settings requires the development and understanding of the characteristics of teachers’ technological pedagogical content knowledge base.

This article has attempted to address some of the central components of practical TPACK for the mathematics classroom. These include, but are not limited to, conception and use of technology; technology-based mathematics instruction and management; and depth and breadth of mathematics content.

Updated: Jan. 02, 2011