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ERIC Number: ED567257
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 242
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3037-6525-4
Preparing Future Teachers for Inclusion Classrooms Using Virtual World Role-Play Activities
Mirliss, Danielle Salomone
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University
Teacher preparation programs are exploring opportunities to better prepare pre-service teachers for the realities of managing inclusion classrooms. The ability to manage a classroom while meeting the learning needs of all students is critical to the success of a teacher. Research suggests that a teacher's positive attitudes toward inclusion and teacher efficacy, confidence in one's ability to promote student learning, are positively associated with teacher success. In order to support these constructs, teacher preparation programs are incorporating more opportunities for exposure to persons with disabilities and experiential activities for skill development. The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of virtual world (VW) role-play activities to support teacher preparation programs. Other technology mediated experiences exist to develop classroom management skills but are limited in their ability to expose pre-service teachers to a diversity of learners. In order to address this need, a virtual classroom and students were created using a virtual world platform. Ten third grade virtual students were created that represented a broad range of learners including those with learning and health disabilities, emotional and psychological challenges, and cultural and socioeconomic diversity. Four sections of an undergraduate education course participated in the study; two sections engaged in the VW role-play activities while the other two sections served as the control group. The findings suggest that the use of VW role-play activities, in which pre-service teachers took on the perspective of a diverse learner, supports the development of positive attitudes toward inclusion. The findings did not support the use of VW activities to increase teacher efficacy. Finally, the findings also showed positive associations between presence, a feeling of being in a mediated environment, and the intended outcomes of the activity. The ability to visualize the classroom and the students, as well as perceive the virtual interactions to be real, may support pre-service teachers in deeply considering the needs of diverse students. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Grade 3; Primary Education; Elementary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A