Implementation of Immersive Classroom Simulation Activities in a Mathematics Methods Course and a Life and Environmental Science Course
This study investigated the influence of immersive classroom simulation activities on the development of elementary pre-service teachers in two separate mathematics and science education courses that simultaneously focus on pedagogy and content. Participants submitted written personal reflections about their teaching experiences using the immersive classroom simulation activities. These reflections were analyzed for common emergent themes within and across courses. The participants discussed the benefits of the immersive classroom simulation activities in their written personal reflections. They viewed the experience as helpful in developing their skills as a practicing teacher in mathematics and science.
Specifically, participants identified three sub-themes including: (a) the immersive classroom simulation activities as being beneficial by providing more authentic real-life teaching experiences than those experienced during peer-group teaching activities; (b) the importance of holding complete and appropriate understandings of content when teaching mathematics and science; and (c) the role of deep content knowledge in the process of developing high quality questions for students. This study has shown immersive classroom simulation activities to be a viable alternative for teacher education programs to engage elementary preservice teachers in developing skills regarding classroom mathematics and science discourse.
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