Teacher Education with simSchool

Teacher Education with simSchool

David Gibson (Curveshift, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1906-7.ch023
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This chapter introduces an innovative online learning platform for the preparation of teachers through simulations, which addresses some of the systemic challenges of teacher education in the US. The chapter contrasts traditional course-based online learning experiences with a simulation approach to four areas of teacher preparation: conceptions of teaching & learning, the organization of knowledge, assessment practices and results, and the engagement of communities of practice. The chapter outlines a rationale for the new approach based in self-direction and personal validation in a complex but repeatable practice environment, supported by emergent interdisciplinary knowledge concerning the unique affordances of digital media assessment and social media. The online simulation simSchool is used as an example model that embodies the new paradigm.
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The plan of the chapter is to briefly outline some of the key problems with teacher education in the U.S., including preparing teachers in both traditional face-to-face and online courses and programs. Then the narrative presents the characteristics of a new model of self-directed teacher education supported in a game-like simulation context. The plan is to demonstrate that such a context has unique affordances compared with the alternatives, which entails describing how such an environment teaches as well as how it offers evidence for assessing whether someone has learned anything. The chapter is supported by a concrete example – simSchool - a flight simulator for teachers.

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