Research on the Content, Technological, and Pedagogical Knowledge (TPACK) of Chemistry Teachers During Remote Teaching in the Pandemic in the Light of Students’ Perceptions

Everton Bedin, Murilo S Marques, Maria das Graças Cleophas
Journal of Information Technology Education: Research  •  Volume 22  •  2023  •  pp. 001-024

The objective of this study is threefold: (i) investigate how a group of subjects see the relationship between the integration of content, pedagogical and technological knowledge of their chemistry teaching in light of the teaching practices developed during the pandemic; (ii) present a framework for the integration of digital technologies in chemical education; and (iii) integrate empirical research on teachers’ relationship with technology in the remote classroom during the pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed changes in the ways of teaching and learning and has affected educational contexts at all levels of education. While technology has been instrumental in providing access to education during the pandemic, it has also revealed a picture of serious technological inequality, especially among students. The adoption of technology in education is an old topic in Brazil but still requires studies and advances in the implementation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in education. With regard to teaching Chemical Science, the study of the skills and knowledge that teachers need to carry out an effective and efficient integration of ICT in education is still a priority at any educational level.

The research method used was qualitative with an interpretive paradigm that involved 324 Licentiate and Baccalaureate students in Chemistry from public educational institutions in the five regions that make up the Brazilian territory. Data were collected through an online survey and, after being exported it was analyzed using Python software. In order to reduce the number of variables, exploratory factor analysis was carried out followed by a reliability analysis of the adopted factors, in addition to subsequent comparisons between the means related to the three factors for each of the categorical variables present in this work (Gender, Age, Region, Teacher Education, Period, and Course).

This article analyzes the perceptions of these chemistry students in Brazil regarding the effective integration of content, pedagogical and technological knowledge of their chemistry teachers during the pandemic. It also proposes a framework of a model constituted from the amalgamation between Johnstone’s triangle and the conceptual structure TPACK whose aim is to teach chemistry by interrelating the macroscopic, symbolic, and submicroscopic levels incorporated into technologies.

The results of this research allow us to conclude that of the three main knowledge areas proposed in the TPACK model, the field of Knowledge mostly Scientific of chemistry teachers (Factor 1) was pointed out as the most deficient when investigated in the light of the perceptions of the students. The model developed and presented in this study, which integrates TPACK into the Johnstone Triangle, proposed a theoretical framework that explains the integration of technology into the chemistry curriculum and gives teachers a very important role in its use and appropriation to facilitate the integration of technology in an effective way, thus adding improvements to the construction of chemical knowledge of their students.

This study found that it is necessary for chemistry teachers to carry out training courses to improve the development of ICT-related skills and, consequently, to use the knowledge that composes the TPACK structure in interrelated ways so that chemical instructions can be used in a pedagogically appropriate manner and effectively to improve students’ chemistry learning experience.

This study involved only higher education chemistry professors and students; therefore, future research is needed involving chemistry teachers from different levels of education to expand our results. In addition, the proposed model that integrates TPACK and Johnstone’s Triangle can be reapplied and improved, and new theoretical and epistemological contributions can be added to the framework to improve the teaching and learning process of chemistry with the support of technologies.

The understanding of the TPACK of higher education chemistry teachers in Brazil can demonstrate weaknesses in the process of incorporating ICT in the classroom during the process of teaching and learning chemistry. Therefore, this research typology can be useful in supporting the development of ICT-related skills, consequently improving teachers’ TPACK. On the other hand, such understanding, by promoting reflections on university chemistry curricula, endorses the need for teachers’ continuing education as a healthy mechanism for a growing integration of technologies in their teaching practices. The proposed model has the potential to align discussions on the use of technology in teaching chemistry, considering the specificities that are inherent and indispensable to the understanding of chemical knowledge.

Future research should be to further improve the use of the proposed model that integrates Johnstone’s triangle and the TPACK conceptual framework in teacher training, using it fully to guide the development and promotion of teacher training courses regarding the insertion of teaching technologies in a pedagogical way to teach chemistry in its different dimensions.

chemical education, ICT, Brazil, teachers, TPACK, model
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