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Listening to Teacher Candidates: A Study on Simulations in Teacher Education

Sun, April 11, 4:10 to 5:40pm EDT (4:10 to 5:40pm EDT), Division K, Division K - Section 5 Paper and Symposium Sessions 2


Teacher educators have only a brief window to impact future teachers’ skills. Every moment of practice during teacher preparation matters and scalable, customizable simulations can offer teacher educators new ways to integrate practice into classes. In this mixed methods study, we draw on 876 teacher candidate survey responses from three years of simulations. We find that candidates prefer challenging and relevant content, that candidates appreciate extensive preparation, and that they perceive simulations as low-stakes practice. Candidates also see benefits in guidance and repeated practice and demonstrate insights into their practice. Our model of growth from simulations integrates candidates’ perspectives with design elements of content, environment, and instructional strategies. We conclude with implications for teacher educators in designing simulated practice opportunities.