Virtual Reality as a Means to Prepare Preservice Teachers

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Etopio, Elisabeth
SUNY , State University of New York , IITG , Innovative Instructional Technology Grants , University at Buffalo , Clinical Teaching Opportunities , Urban Teaching Opportunitities , Teacher Education , Virtual Reality Clinical Teaching Opportunities
The purpose of this project is to develop, investigate, and characterize interactive VR-based preservice teacher clinical teaching opportunities in urban environments with those of real-life urban teaching environments. This project builds upon prior studies and will examine outcomes for thirty healthy, college aged students, 15 females and 15 males, assigned to a clinical field condition or VR conditions. Results of the comparison between conditions will inform further development and production of VR environments for teacher training purposes. Findings from prior research on this topic by the PI and Co-PI suggested that use of VR, in terms of the realism of the environment for the preservice teachers promotes preservice teachers learning in modeled real-life urban educational situations for transfer of theory into practice. This transfer of theory into practice can provide preservice teachers with a means to engage with classroom interaction in a soft-failure environment.This project will include collaborations with business, K-12 education, and higher education.
Accurately representing common challenges novice teachers face in the urban classroom is a difficult and demanding challenge; the classroom VR environment proposed in this project was developed in collaboration with administrators and teachers from a large urban school district with a large population of minoritized students.