Virtual reality has a number of applications for pedagogy and teacher training; simulation training in these much-needed areas may add an essential component to the field of teacher education (Tondeur, Pareja-Roblin, van Braak, Voogt, & Prestridge, 2017). Computer simulations can provide guided practice for a variety of situations that pre-service teachers wouldn’t frequently experience during their teacher education studies (Mason, Jeon, Blair, & Glomb, 2011; Mason, 2011). Simulations can help pre-service teachers develop the skills that it takes to properly run a classroom without the high-stakes risk of causing harm to actual students (Matsuda, 2005).
There are numerous benefits to game-based learning, including improved learner motivation and engagement, constructive knowledge frameworks, exploratory and independent learning and, at times, higher achievement outcomes over traditional pedagogy (Boyle et al., 2016; Cheong, Flippou, & France, 2015; Peterson, 2019). Simulations can allow pre-service teachers to see their students from a different perspective, gain insight into the best ways to manage their future classroom, and understand the direct consequences of their actions in the classroom (Ferry et al., 2004). Including simulations in pre-service teaching coursework has demonstrated an increase in the confidence and effectiveness of first year teachers (Englebert, 2010).
Understanding learner variability helps disrupt the idea of a one-size-fits all approach and paves the way for more equitable teaching and learning. The intersection of culturally responsive practice with the science of learner variability can provide great insight into what it takes to successfully implement culturally responsive instruction with both teachers and students. It also helps us understand why culturally responsive practices are necessary for reaching and embracing the whole learner.
On November 10, 2022 at 1:00 p.m., we will hear from our distinguished panelists, Courtney Teague, Angela Elkordy, and Leigh Ann Erikson, on how they approach culturally responsive practice in their courses and practice. We’ll discuss some of the key findings from the research on culturally responsive practices, where the research gaps are, and the importance of culturally responsive practices in teacher education and K-12 classrooms. Register today for the Learner Variability and Culturally Responsive Practices, hosted by Digital Promise and AACTE.
AACTE is currently accepting entries for the 2023 awards. The AACTE Awards Program recognizes excellence in both member institutions and individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of educator preparation.
For most of the awards, programs and individuals can be either self-nominated or nominated by a third party. The deadline to apply is October 31, 2022. Learn more about the 2023 AACTE Awards, eligibility and criteria.
Rachel Besharat Mann will share her experience in translating learning sciences into practice using the Digital Promise Learner Variability Navigator tool during the webinar co-hosted by AACTE, “Learning Sciences Research for the Classroom” on September 26, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Below, Mann offers a preview about her experience using the web app for whole child learning.
You can read all of the teaching books and take all of the courses but being in the classroom is a completely different experience. You are working with individual people with varied backgrounds and needs and their behaviors; strengths, and needs can change based on a variety of factors outside of a teacher’s control. There is no roadmap to tell you how students learn differently or even if they are learning at all. This is a lesson I’ve learned the hard way over the years and have vowed to help my higher education students avoid the same pitfalls in K-12 classrooms that I did.
AACTE has teamed up with the leaders of Digital Promise’s Learner Variability Project to address systems-level transformation that directly addresses the challenges students face by using the Learner Variability Navigator (LVN); a free open-source tool to make learning sciences research accessible to educators. Earlier this year, a representative group of AACTE members were introduced to the project and navigation tools, and using their feedback, AACTE is pleased to bring you the webinar series that lifts up tools and practices with the Learner Variability Project most relevant to the educator preparation field.
Clinical experience is critical to the success of teacher candidates. It allows them to receive real classroom experience while they foster relationships with students and build their own instructional skills.
But, even with the skills they learn leading up to the clinical experience, teacher candidates can’t just enter the field and be expected to succeed. There’s a whole host of skills that cannot be taught in a college classroom or via a textbook. And, teacher candidates—just like classroom teachers themselves—need ongoing coaching and feedback to continuously improve their practice.
The University of Wyoming College of Education and UW Trustees Education Initiative (TEI) have partnered with Mursion, a company that develops virtual reality training simulations, to present the inaugural College WYTeach competition.
UW and Wyoming community college students who are freshmen or sophomores and interested in becoming teachers can participate in the contest. The top three participants will be awarded scholarship money to UW or a Wyoming community college.
In Wyoming and across the nation, schools are experiencing a shortage of teachers. The WYTeach competition was developed to get students interested in teaching careers and provide a stream of highly qualified teachers into classrooms. This exposure will provide students the opportunity to practice their professional skills and put their teaching abilities to the test by leading a class of students inside a virtual reality simulation.
The Teacher Educators’ Journal, is the journal of the newly formed Virginia Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators (from the merging of ATE-Virginia and the Virginia Association of Colleges for Teacher Education). The journal is published once per year, in electronic form. Please review the call for proposals as we continue to expand the reach—research shared and readership—of the journal beyond Virginia.
The Teacher Educators’ Journal (TTEJ) is published by the Virginia Association of Colleges and Teacher Educators (VACTE), a state unit of the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE) and the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). The journal aims to stimulate discussion and reflection about issues related to teacher education. Manuscripts submitted for consideration may be research/empirical reports and analyses, position papers, book reviews, or conceptual essays.
This fall, AACTE is excited to continue supporting an opportunity for members to try out the PlanWise™ tool, a Chrome Extension developed by ETS and focused on delivering formative assessment practices and strategies. The PlanWise™ tool meets teachers where they are in a number of ways, including providing suggestions for formative assessment strategies to teachers and pre-service teachers while they are lesson planning in Google Docs.
Five AACTE member institutions have participated in introductory sessions and have determined that they are interested in trying out the PlanWise™ tool with their pre-service teachers. We are welcoming an additional five institutions to try out the tool this fall.
Ed Prep Matters features the “AACTE Teacher Stories,” series to spotlight the experiences of K-12 educators who are attending or are alumni of AACTE member institutions. AACTE invites preservice and in-service school teachers to reflect on how they are applying the practices, frameworks, and strategies they acquired during their educator preparation program (EPP) studies to assure student success. Email stories to email@example.com.
This article is authored by Michael A. Chuntz, a 5th grade math, science, and social studies teacher at Somerset Intermediate School in North Plainfield, NJ. This story was nominated by Heejung An, his master’s thesis advisor at the College of Education, William Paterson University of New Jersey, where he obtained his master’s degree in May 2021.
Let’s face it, most of us taught to black boxes the entirety of the 2020-2021 school year. Were our students even there? Were they aimlessly scrolling through TikTok the entire class? Were they sleeping? Or were they taking care of their younger siblings while their family members worked? More importantly, were they learning?
I recently had an incredible learning opportunity to be a part of the AACTE Simulations for Secondary Science Teachers conference. The goal for the convening was to introduce participants to the simulation design process and to support them to create a secondary science simulation scenario in smaller teams. Large group zoom meetings with almost 55 participants provided a valuable opportunity to listen, ask questions, and reflect on matters that concern science teacher preparation. The convening provided just the right amount of stimulation and sense of community that probably many of us were missing due to the recent pandemic. Until now, I saw myself as a user—employing simulations to help my teacher candidates understand and practice core teaching practices. However, being a part of the scenario development team afforded an insider or “behind the scenes’ perspective.” I was able to understand the complexities, affordance, and constraints of the simulation designing process.
Have you tried using video in your methodology courses? As the place where student teachers connect theory to practice, methods courses are perfect for video—whether you teach in person or online.
Many teacher ed programs relied on video for remote instruction during the pandemic, but some used it long before 2020—and for good reason. Research shows that video plus feedback improves student skills. In methods courses, video gives you a way to
- Show students what theoretical methods look like in practice.
- Enable students to practice methods in small groups.
- Record and give personalized feedback as students apply methods in the field.
Timothy Boerst and Meghan Shaughnessy
Working in teacher education programs at the University of Michigan and Boston University, we are well-versed with practice-based teacher education, including the usage and importance of video to connect the university classroom and K-12 schools. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, video has been crucial in engaging with our teacher candidates in practice-based work.
At the AACTE 2021 Annual Meeting in February earlier this year, we shared how we used video in our work as teacher educators over the 2020-21 academic year. Our presentation, “Using Video to Learn to Do the Work of Teaching When Schools are Closed,” highlighted the ways in which we used video at the University of Michigan to support practice-based work when methods courses were conducted online. While we have robustly used video in our programs for over a decade, the last year forced us to explore new possibilities.
Don’t miss your opportunity to pilot test PlanWise™ tool, a Chrome Extension developed by ETS and focused on delivering formative assessment practices and strategies.
AACTE, in collaboration with ETS, is excited to provide all of its members with this exciting opportunity. The PlanWise™ tool meets teachers where they are in a number of ways, such as providing suggestions for formative assessment strategies to teachers and teacher candidates while they are lesson planning in Google Docs. After an initial pilot with K-12 teachers, novice teachers noted the value and the utility of the tool in identifying a variety of new formative assessment strategies and indicated that the strategies increased their use of formative assessment with students.
AACTE is excited to announce a new opportunity for members to pilot the PlanWise™ tool, a Chrome Extension developed by ETS and focused on delivering formative assessment practices and strategies. The PlanWise™ tool meets teachers where they are in a number of ways, including by providing suggestions for formative assessment strategies to teachers and teacher candidates while they are lesson planning in Google Docs. After an initial pilot with K-12 teachers, there is increased interest in expanding use of the PlanWise™ tool to teacher candidates. Many novice teachers in the initial pilot valued the utility of the tool in identifying a variety of new formative assessment strategies and indicated that the strategies increased their use of formative assessment with students.