Int. J. of Learning Technology   »   2011 Vol.6, No.2



Title: simSchool: an online dynamic simulator for enhancing teacher preparation


Authors: Rhonda Christensen; Gerald Knezek; Tandra Tyler-Wood; David Gibson


University of North Texas, 3940 Elm St. #G-150, Denton TX 76207, USA.
University of North Texas, 3940 Elm St. #G-150, Denton TX 76207, USA.
University of North Texas, 3940 Elm St. #G-150, Denton TX 76207, USA.
The Equity Alliance at ASU, Arizona State University, Interdisciplinary B353, P.O. Box 876103, Tempe, AZ 85287-6103, USA


Abstract: A rationale for using a simulated teaching environment to train pre-service teacher candidates is presented, followed by the key components of the simSchool dynamic simulator created to accomplish this task. Results of analyses of two sets of data, for the areas of pedagogical practices and teaching skills, are used to illustrate that changes in pre-service educators can be assessed as a direct outcome of activities completed within the simulated environment. Major outcomes to date indicate that teacher candidates gain a sense of instructional self-efficacy (confidence in their competence) more rapidly using the simulator, compared to traditional teacher preparation classes and related activities. This outcome is true for pre-service candidates working with simulated students spanning the normal range of personality attributes and sensory abilities, as well as pre-service teacher candidates working with simulated students with disabilities.


Keywords: games; simulations; pre-service teachers; learning theory; special populations; teacher preparation; modelling; self-efficacy; simSchool; online simulators; dynamic simulators; USA; United States; teaching environments; teacher candidates; pedagogical practices; teaching skills; pre-service educators; simulated environments; confidence; competence; traditional classes; preparation classes; simulated students; personality attributes; sensory abilities; disabilities; disabled students; professional development; learning technology.


DOI: 10.1504/IJLT.2011.042649


Int. J. of Learning Technology, 2011 Vol.6, No.2, pp.201 - 220


Available online: 23 Sep 2011



Editors Full text accessAccess for SubscribersPurchase this articleComment on this article