Preparing teachers for the classrooms of the future through research and design.

MIT Teaching Systems Lab Practice Spaces

Practice Spaces

Creating learning environments to support teacher’s practice

About Practice Spaces

At the Teaching Systems Lab, we develop teacher practice spaces– learning environments, inspired by games and simulations, that help novice teachers rehearse for and reflect on important decisions in teaching. Currently, teacher candidates primarily learn in two spaces: the graduate school of education’s Socratic seminar room and the practicum classroom. The former affords discussion and the latter affords immersion into the challenges of teaching, but a third space–a practice space–is needed that combines the authenticity of the practicum classroom with the control and scaffolding of the GSE seminar room. Building on existing research into role-playing, simulations, and other forms of “approximation” in teacher education, our practice spaces create more targeted opportunities to practice specific dimensions of teaching that can be systematically improved and reintegrated into the whole complex assemblage of teaching.