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SchoolSims Webinar Highlights Research on the Impact of Simulations on School Leader Preparation

In the latest webinar hosted by SchoolSims, titled “Evidence of the Impact of Simulations on School Leader Development and Preparation,” a panel of experts in educational leadership discuss their research on school leader preparation and development and the impact of experiential learning opportunities through simulations. Panelists include including Sara Dexter, Ed.D., Jennifer Bailey, Ed.D., David De Jong, Ed.D., Mike Johanek, Ed.D., and Trent Grundmeyer, Ph.D.

The purpose of the webinar is to provide context for the potential impact of simulation practice as a targeted professional development method that may go beyond pre-service preparation and continue as a learning pathway for in-service school leaders and teachers by examining the most recent research on leadership and teacher development.

Sara Dexter mentioned, “Research showed simulations to be authentic to the actual experience. Simulations became a tool for schools as an interactive learning tool and created a pedagogical strategy that fills in the gaps in the bridge from the classroom to the field.”

David De Jong mentioned, “Simulations create a safe space where it allows leaders to engage in professional discourse with sensitive topics.”

Mike Johanek mentioned, “Simulations help to break that isolation leaders face in their jobs. Simulations allow other disciplines to come in to collaborate at a point of practice so that disciplines become refined at the point of practice they are meant to support.”

Johanek also mentioned, “When it happens in your hallway or board meeting, you need to be able to react. Simulations help prepare you for those moments by making you a better decision maker, to help construct and build on in-the-moment thinking for school leaders.”

Trent Grundmeyer mentioned, “Research shows that simulations helped promote long-term retention of important concepts. It has backed up simulations and how they are proven to be highly engaging and have the ability to stimulate critical thinking. They also help to realize different perspectives and increase the confidence to be a leader. Simulations are a proven training method, and they must be leveraged in the field of education. “Simulations are on the ‘horizon’ for mainstream adoption in education.”

Jennifer Bailey mentioned, “We hear from principals leaving their districts that they are not getting the professional development they need. When you have a simulation as a frame of reference and build off that, self-efficacy improves and increases principal retention.”

Watch the entire recorded webinar.

Meet the Panelists:

  • Sara Dexter – Associate Professor, Administration & Supervision, Department of Leadership, Foundations & Policy
    Co-Director, CASTLE of UCEA 
  • David De Jong – Dean of the College of Education at Dakota State University and President of the International Council of Professors of Educational Leadership (ICPEL).
  • Jennifer Bailey – Assistant Professor of Practice at the University of Texas at Tyler 
  • Mike Johanek – Senior Fellow at the Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Division, University of Pennsylvania, Director of the Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, Director of the Penn Educational Leadership Simulations and The Judgement Project
  • Trent Grundmeyer – Associate Professor Educational Leadership, Faculty Administrative Fellow for Graduate Programs, School of Education | Drake University


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