The ineffectiveness of preservice teachers’ experiences for preparing them in understanding the educational needs of diverse learners has been documented. Traditionally, preservice teachers’ understanding of diverse learners was limited to courses and field experiences. This sequential mixed-method study focused on the use of Simulation Based Learning (SBL) as an alternative to coursework and field experiences and evaluated the use of the Simulation Based Learning tool, simSchool, as a supplement to coursework and field experiences. The researcher focused on the simulation of a variety of classroom environments dealing with different types of diversity as a means of increasing preservice teachers’ understanding of the educational needs of diverse learners. Twenty-one simulated classroom modules were created representing six different classroom settings designed to focus on four diversity areas: students with socioeconomic issues, students with different ethnicities, students with exceptionalities, and English as second language (ESL) students. The study used both quantitative and qualitative instruments in order to answer the research question: What impact did SBL have on preservice teachers’ understanding of the educational needs of diverse learners? Data were collected from both pre and post quantitative surveys, qualitative surveys, and from the simSchool simulated classroom modules. The results from the quantitative surveys showed no statistical difference from the pre to postsurvey results. The analysis of the qualitative data suggested that the use of simSchool did increase preservice teachers’ understanding of the educational needs of diverse learners. The analysis of the data embedded within the simSchool software collected from the simulation modules also suggested that simSchool did increase preservice teachers’ understanding of diverse learners. The researcher acknowledges that other studies are needed in order to corroborate these findings.
|Commitee:||Rauscher, Laura, Vitale, Cynthia|
|School:||Missouri Baptist University|
|School Location:||United States -- Missouri|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Multicultural Education, Teacher education, Educational technology|
|Keywords:||Accreditation, Diverse learners, Multicultural education, Preservice teacher training, Simschool, Simulation based learning as a supplement to field experiences|
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