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

Journal of Technology and Teacher Education

Preprint

Digital Simulations as Approximations of Practice: Preparing Preservice Teachers to Facilitate Whole-Group Discussions of Controversial Issues

Sarah Kaka, Joshua Littenberg-Tobias, Taylor Kessner, Anthony Tuf Francis, Katrina Kennett, G. Marvez, Justin Reich

Abstract

The public schoolhouse is one of the few remaining public spaces in which citizens may routinely gather to discuss controversial issues. Furthermore, it is social studies classrooms and teachers, in particular, that bear the moral imperative to ensure such civic discourse takes place. Nevertheless, many social studies teachers refrain from centering such discussions in their classrooms, often for fear of reprisal should these discussions go awry. It thus falls to social studies teacher educators to rethink how we prepare future teachers. This paper reports on a study that incorporated digital simulations of controversial issues into three preservice social studies teacher preparation methods courses to help develop high-leverage practices associated with leading whole-group discussions. Case study analysis suggests participants developed greater fluency with the teacher moves they practiced in the simulation. Accordingly, participants’ developed greater confidence with and perceived importance of facilitating discussions of controversial issues in their future classrooms. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Citations

Kaka, S., Littenberg-Tobias, J., Kessner, T., Francis, A. T., Kennett, K., Marvez, G., & Reich, J. (2021, March 15). Digital Simulations as Approximations of Practice: Preparing Preservice Teachers to Facilitate Whole-Group Discussions of Controversial Issues. https://doi.org/10.35542/osf.io/95gyd

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