Mixed Reality Simulations in Teacher Education, Online, Tuesday, 10. November 2020
About this Event
How can teacher education programs prepare novices who are ready to provide effective instruction on their first day in the classroom? One potentially promising strategy is focusing teacher preparation on practical classroom skills, rather than educational theory and disciplinary content. In particular, thousands of prospective teachers are using virtual reality simulations as a platform for practicing teaching techniques prior to using them in classrooms. As a result, teacher educators are able to observe prospective teachers in ways that are otherwise difficult to replicate in a university classroom or in student teaching, while facilitating the provision of feedback, with opportunities for “do-overs.”
This presentation highlights several experiments that examine how different teaching skills improve in such simulated classrooms, contingent on the kind of coaching prospective teachers receive. Growth in teaching was assessed using multiple methods, both qualitative and quantitative. Candidates who received coaching improved significantly more than those who engaged only in self-reflection after simulation sessions across seven different randomized control trials.
The seminar delivered by Julie Cohen (Associate Professor of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education at the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education) will highlight the potential value of simulated classrooms for both instruction and research, and detail implications for teacher preparation design. Avoiding the trap of technology for technology’s sake necessitates systematic empirical research into how these technologies are being used, and the degree to which and ways in which the technology supports the purported goals of improving teaching in real classrooms with real children.