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TPACK Leadership Diagnostic Tool: Guidance for Teacher Education Toward Technology Infusion

Listen and learn

Listen and learn : Research paper
Lecture presentation

Tuesday, December 1, 11:30 am–12:15 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Dr. Arlene Borthwick  
Jeffrey Carpenter  
Dr. Jon Clausen  
Dr. Elizabeth Finsness  
Dr. Kevin Graziano  
Dr. Mary Herring  

This session highlights the JDLTE Outstanding Research Award Paper entitled, "TPACK Leadership Diagnostic Tool: Adoption and Implication for Teacher Education Leaders." JDLTE recognizes one article from the prior volume year with the highest possibility to advance the field of teacher education. Authors will provide the background that lead to the tool's development and discuss how institutions have implemented the tool in TPACK technology initiatives. Researchers will highlight the essential role of teacher education leadership in making future initiatives successful and share how the TPACK Leadership Diagnostic Tool can support continuing efforts toward technology infusion within teacher education.

Audience: Teachers, Teacher education/higher ed faculty, Library media specialists
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Topic: Teacher education
Grade level: Community college/university
Subject area: Higher education
ISTE Standards: For Coaches:
Professional Development and Program Evaluation
  • Conduct needs assessments to inform the content and delivery of technology-related professional learning programs that result in a positive impact on student learning.
For Education Leaders:
Empowering Leader
  • Inspire a culture of innovation and collaboration that allows the time and space to explore and experiment with digital tools.
Visionary Planner
  • Evaluate progress on the strategic plan, make course corrections, measure impact and scale effective approaches for using technology to transform learning.
Additional detail: ISTE author presentation

Proposal summary


TPACK Leadership Theory of Action (Thomas, Herring, Redman, & Smaldino, 2013)

Theory of Action (Argyis & Schon, 1974)

TPACK Leadership Diagnostic Tool (Graziano, K. J., Herring, M. C., Carpenter, J. P., Smaldino, S., & Finsness, E. S. , 2017).


Content analysis
Participants: Leaders from Teacher education programs
Research Questions:
1. How was the TPACK leadership diagnostic tool used by education leaders during the implementation of TPACK-based initiatives?

2. In what ways did the TPACK leadership diagnostic tool serve as an opportunity to examine current practices and set realistic goals?

3. What are education leaders’ recommendations for the TPACK leadership diagnostic tool?


The categories of the TPACK leadership diagnostic tool (the zone of wishful thinking, what can be controlled, and key leadership functions) were addressed by all the teacher education leaders during their interviews. Each element within these categories provided insights and raised additional questions into how leadership could move ahead with supporting TPACK-based initiatives. While the tool appeared to be useful for spurring reflection, it was not apparent that it was used as an essential reference during the implementation of participants’ respective initiatives.

Education leaders used the diagnostic tool to engage with others about their initiatives, to consider how physical spaces and personnel could be repurposed in support of their initiatives, and to think critically about prioritizing competing political, financial, and contextual demands. Results illustrate that leadership decisions were instrumental in the planning and implementation of TPACK initiatives.

Results indicate that effective use of the tool requires support, scaffolding, or even training.


Leaders need to thoughtfully reflect on how competing priorities
and resources, faculty time and attention, involvement of school partners, and the ever-critical policy environment can impact the development and implementation of their TPACK-basedinitiatives. Making time to consult elements, such as those outlined in the TPACK
leadership diagnostic tool, while leading the change process of TPACK-focused initiatives can help ensure that the initiatives are successful.


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More [+]


Dr. Arlene Borthwick, National College of Education at National Louis University

Arlene Borthwick, co-editor of Championing Technology Infusion in Teacher Preparation: A Framework for Supporting Future Educators (ISTE, 2020), is Professor Emerita and former Associate Dean and Professor at the National College of Education, National Louis University in Chicago. She has served as chair of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education’s Committee on Innovation and Technology and member of the ISTE Board of Directors. She received the ISTE “Making IT Happen” award in 2008.

Jeffrey Carpenter, Elon University
Dr. Jon Clausen, Ball State University

Jon M. Clausen is an associate professor of educational technology and secondary education at Ball State University Teachers College. He is a current member of the AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology, teaches undergraduate and graduate educational technology courses. His areas of research have focused on technology integration & infusion. Specifically, developing the instructional contexts that support learning and teaching with technology. Jon works with pre-service and in-service teachers to think critically about instructional technology use to support student learning, while encouraging creative problem-solving, modeling, and providing students with choice and voice in the projects they construct.

Dr. Elizabeth Finsness, Director of Field & International Exp.

Elizabeth Finsness is an associate professor and director for the office of Field and International Experiences for Minnesota State University, Mankato. She is a previous member of the AACTE Committee on Innovation and Technology. Her areas of research have focused on technology integration & innovation and she is a previous recipient of the TIES Technology Director of the year award. Her current research focus is on racial equity and social justice. Elizabeth works with pre-service teachers to think critically about race and social constructs.

Dr. Kevin Graziano, Nevada State College
Dr. Mary Herring, University Of Northern Iowa

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