Mixed-reality simulations as a tool to enhance parent-teacher conferencing in initial teacher education
Keywords:parent-teacher conferencing, mixed-reality simulation, experiential learning, reflective practice, initial teacher education, role play, qualitative
Communicating effectively with parents and carers is an important skill for pre-service teachers to develop. However, they often graduate underprepared due to limited opportunities for parent interaction during their course. When engaging with parents, pre-service teachers must be able to confidently articulate their pedagogical choices, provide examples of what students will do and justify why these choices have been made. One solution lies in providing opportunities for pre-service teachers to practise parent-teacher conferencing using mixed-reality simulation technology. In this study, differentiated instruction served as the context, and reflective practice, teacher self-efficacy theory and experiential learning theory were employed as the theoretical frameworks to build on an existing parent-teacher conferencing model developed by Dotger et al. (2008) to develop a new model for use with pre-service teachers. The model uses mixed-reality simulation technology and incorporates standardised parents and students, peer observation and opportunities for feedback and reflection. The model was developed and trialled with pre-service teachers in a core unit in an initial teacher education course at an Australian university. Results indicated that the pre-service teachers felt more prepared for parent-teacher conferencing after the technology-enhanced role-play experience.
Implications for practice or policy:
- Mixed-reality simulation technology can be a valuable tool for authentic role-play experiences for pre-service teachers when preparing for parent-teacher conferencing.
- Simulation technologies can provide opportunities for pre-service teachers to practise aspects of teaching, such as parent-teacher conferencing, in a safe and low-stakes environment.
- Simulation technologies can provide powerful opportunities for pre-service teachers to reflect and learn from peers through peer observation and reflection.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Gemma Scarparolo, Fiona Mayne
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