Teacher knowledge of educational technology: A case study of student/mentor teacher pairs

Jon Margerum-Leys, Ronald W. Marx

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


This study had two purposes. The first was to explore the construct of teacher knowledge of educational technology through the lens of three components of Shulman's model of teachers' knowledge-content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and pedagogical content knowledge. A second purpose was to investigate the ways in which teacher knowledge is acquired, shared, and used by student teachers and their mentors in the context of the student teaching placement. The literature in educational technology takes, for the most part, a limited view of educational technology knowledge, reporting on teachers' awareness of technological applications and affordances. By using Shulman's model, this study constructed and considered a more comprehensive depiction of teacher knowledge. Teacher knowledge of educational technology as thus depicted was explored as it developed within a particular setting. Data were drawn from a three-month observation and interview period in the spring of 1999. Six participants-three student teachers and three mentor teachers-were observed and interviewed at a middle school in a working-class suburb of a large Midwestern city. From observations of teacher practice, inferences were made about the underlying body of knowledge evidenced by the participants. The perspective of student and mentor teacher participants was gained through a quasi-ethnographic interview process. Observation and interview data were analyzed using a shared coding system, allowing a rich description to be created. Results of the study indicated that employment of Shulman's model revealed a set of knowledge derived from and applicable to practice with educational technology. This knowledge could be considered a Pedagogical Content Knowledge of technology, corresponding to Shulman's identification of a particular understanding by teachers of content in service of teaching and teaming. Within the context of the mentor/student teacher pairs, both knowledge acquired in and brought to the setting was shared in a multi-year cycle from student teacher to mentor to subsequent student teacher. Impact on the field includes a broadening sense of the nature of knowledge of educational technology, as well as increased attention to the importance of the student teaching placement and student and mentor teachers' roles within that environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-462
Number of pages36
JournalJournal of Educational Computing Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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