Practicing to become a teacher

This paper explores how teachers-in-training can gain crucial experience by taking part in simulations and roleplays. The use of simulations and role plays has been in discussion by teacher trainers for some years, inspired by practices in other highly regulated industries such as health care and nursing, but the same rate of adoption has not been forthcoming. However, this need has become more evident – even urgent – during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent school closures, which has result in cancelled placement opportunities on a massive scale. We argue that although actual classroom experience remains a central component of teacher training, critical skills developed through practice experience can be provided in virtual environments that deconstruct the complex practice of teaching and explicitly make connections to the theories and principles of good teaching. We identify key features to be considered when creating effective simulated teaching and learning experiences. A range of technologies are discussed that support approximations of practice, and we present an experimental example of a simple interactive video that was created using readily available technologies.

learning from simulations and roleplays
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