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Leading Change and Innovation in Teacher Preparation: A Blueprint for Developing TPACK Ready Teacher Candidates

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When preparing TPACK ready teacher candidates, faculty must incorporate and model TPACK within the teacher education curriculum, which often requires an ongoing change process. But for change to take place we must consider the role leadership plays in the innovation of change. Leaders, deans and department heads must be an integral part of this process. The challenge for innovation, change and education technology leaders is to transform teacher preparation programs into fully realized TPACK environments and determine the necessary learning opportunities and support necessary to motivate college leaders and faculty to fully embrace the change process. This article outlines a collaborative ongoing process and blueprint that leaders should consider as they make plans for the effective integration of TPACK into their colleges. "Tomorrow's teachers must be prepared to rethink, unlearn and relearn, change, revise, and adapt" (Niess, 2008, p.225). Leaders, deans and department heads must be an integral part of this process if it is to be successful.While technology can support changes in how teacher educators teach and future teachers learn to teach (Dilworth et al., 2012), teaching with technology is a "wicked problem" in that it has "incomplete, contradictory and changing requirements" (Koehler & Mishra, 2008, p.10). New and innovative ways of confronting this complexity must address core knowledge base components that include content, pedagogy, and technology. These components have been used as the foundation for a technology,pedagogy, andcontent knowledge(TPACK) framework known as technological pedagogical content knowledge, or TPCK (AACTE, 2008; Koehler & Mishra, 2008; Mishra & Koehler, 2006; Pierson, 1999). But what is the role of leaders where TPACK based processes are being implemented in university teacher preparation programs?Educational technology leaders often approach models for teacher preparation in collectives that examine them iteratively. The 2012 National Technology Leadership Summit brought together the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) and its Innovation and Technology Committee. Representatives from college administrations met and examined leadership issues facing deans, directors and chairs as they work to support college-wide change facilitating faculty and teacher candidates in the task of becoming TPACK proficient. This work built upon a CITE (Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education) journal editorial focused on initial conversations around leadership needs for effective TPACK implementation (Dexter, Herring, & Thomas, 2012). A presentation at AACTE 2013 extended this work with teacher preparation and education technology leaders sharing "what worked" in their colleges around these processes. A panel presentation at the 2013 Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) Conference also shared insights into a blueprint for key areas that leaders should consider as they make plans for the effective integration of TPACK into their colleges as well as several implementation case studies. This article compiles this iterative work from a leadership perspective.While the challenge is to transform teacher preparation programs into fully realized TPACK environments, leadership becomes the key in developing new ways of confronting this complex issue that must address core knowledge base components inclusive of content, pedagogy and technology. To accomplish this task, faculty are faced with incorporating modeling these ideas within a teacher education curriculum in concert with ongoing change processes. A solid understanding of the interactions of these components can result in effective teaching with technology in varied and diverse settings; but the critical role of leadership in making such changes must first be considered.The critical features of a blueprint for leaders is based upon the work of Leithwood and colleagues' framework comprised of three key leadership functions associated with improved student outcomes (Day, Sammons, Leithwood, Kington, 2008; Leithwood, Harris & Hopkins, 2008; Leithwood & Jantzi, 2008; Leithwood & Riehl, 2003). The three major component of the Leithwood transformational leadership model are: (1) Building vision and setting direction (2) Developing people through understanding people and (3) Developing the organization through redesigning it.Leithwood, Begley and Cousins (1994) define transformational leadership as follows:The term 'transform' implies major changes in the form, nature, function and/or potential of some phenomenon; applied to leadership, it specifies general ends to be pursued although it is largely mute with respect to means. From this beginning, we consider the central purpose of transformational leadership to be the enhancement of the individual and collective problem-solving capacities of organizational members; such capacities are exercised in the identification of goals to be achieved and practices to be used in their achievement (p. 7).Transformational leaders can create significant change in both followers and the organization with which they are associated (Griffin, 2003). Transformational leaders also find common ground that allows them to enlist followers in processes of change. Fullan (2010) finds that for true reform to take place, resolute leadership that remains focused is critical when new ideas encounter serious difficulty, thereby sustaining and building on success.To achieve this task and create significant change, transformational education leaders realize that true technology integration means understanding and negotiating the relationships between the three components of knowledge and going beyond a "business" organizational model to create change in teacher preparation programs. Too often organizations start down the road to change without being clear on key factors that influence the outcomes of the initiative. Deans and educational leaders must develop a model for change based upon both the organizational culture and the environments they need a set of resources to help and guide them to integrate a framework like TPACK. Through ongoing collaboration and discussion the focus has been around the development of a leadership module which would help leaders establish a vision and set a direction for addressing TPACK. The purpose of a leadership module would be to provide Deans and other educational leaders with the tools they need for full-scale implementation and motivate them to redesign their programs while continuing to improve and sustain a developing / changing curriculum. © 2013 Association for Educational Communications and Technology.


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