“Everyone’s talking about Oscar”: Using simulation in a primary education context to encourage engagement in professional learning whilst managing cognitive load

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Abstract

When educating future primary school teachers in a higher education institution, there can be a traditional divide between theoretical and professional knowledge, with the former taught predominantly in university-based settings, whilst practical skills and experience are developed mostly in school-based placements. This study explores students’ experiences of a pilot project which incorporated simulation into the design of a post-graduate ITE programme.

This pedagogical technique aims to bridge the gap between theoretical and practical knowledge, whilst providing an authentic context for difficult-to-teach concepts. It draws from existing studies in the fields of social work (Meredith et al., 2021) and health (Platt et al., 2021) which suggest benefits for student outcomes and the development of professional and theoretical knowledge. This simulation incorporated video, telephone calls, emails, and school-based documentation centred around a virtual Year 2 cohort.



Having a detailed - and shared - understanding of the same pupils, class and school context allowed staff and student-teachers to have meaningful, insightful and collaborative discussions to support the development of professional knowledge and skills. A case study approach (Yin, 2018) enabled researchers to gain insight into student-teachers’ experiences of learning through simulation. Data was collected via an online survey and draws upon both quantitative and qualitative data. Initial findings suggest that student-teachers found simulation a useful pedagogical tool, reporting increased feelings of preparedness, confidence and overall professional competence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages1-16
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2022
EventNorth East Regional Learning and Teaching Conference 2022: The Three Rivers Conference - online
Duration: 29 Jun 202229 Jun 2022

Conference

ConferenceNorth East Regional Learning and Teaching Conference 2022
Period29/06/2229/06/22

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