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ERIC Number: EJ913026
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan-12
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Simulations Helping Novices Hone Skills
Sawchuk, Stephen
Education Week, v30 n15 p1, 18 Jan 2011
Real-time classroom simulations like TeachME, a University of Central Florida project, offer promise for a host of teacher-training applications. Through them, candidates could learn to work with different groups of students, or practice a discrete skill such as classroom management. Most of all, such simulations give teachers in training the ability to experiment--and make mistakes--without the worry of doing harm to an actual child's learning. The Florida project is among the most sophisticated experiments with classroom simulations to date, but other projects offer similar benefits. The computer program simSchool, which mimics a classroom setting, can be populated with up to 18 students with different features and emotional characteristics--all of whom will respond differently to stimulus from a teacher-candidate in charge of the virtual classroom. Though not yet widespread in teacher education, the idea of classroom simulations could receive more attention in coming years, especially with the student-teaching aspect of teacher preparation now receiving scrutiny. Groups such as the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) are pushing for teacher education programs to step up the variety, length, and quality of their field-based experiences. Both TeachME and simSchool are the product of unusual partnerships linking teacher-educators, researchers, and experts in simulations or immersive media. Though widely used to train professionals in medicine, nursing, and aviation, simulations are uncommon in the preparation of teachers. Many aspiring educators get about 10 to 14 weeks of student-teaching in local schools. The idea behind the simulations is not to replace traditional face-to-face student-teaching, but to give teacher-candidates the ability to experience specific skill-building lessons.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida; Oregon