Mixed-reality simulations as a tool to enhance parent-teacher conferencing in initial teacher education

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Abstract

Communicating effectively with parents/carers is an important skill for pre-service teachers to develop. However, they often graduate underprepared due to limited opportunities for parent interaction during their course. When engaging with parents, pre-service teachers must be able to confidently articulate their pedagogical choices, provide examples of what students will do and justify why these choices have been made. One solution lies in providing opportunities for pre-service teachers to practice parent-teacher conferencing using mixed-reality simulation technology. In this study, differentiated instruction serves as the context, and reflective practice, teacher self-efficacy theory, and experiential learning theory are employed as the theoretical frameworks to build on an existing parent/caregiver conferencing model developed by Dotger et al. (2008) to develop a new model for use with pre-service teachers. The model uses mixed-reality simulation technology and incorporates standardised parents and students, peer observation, and opportunities for feedback and reflection. The model was developed and trialled with pre-service teachers in a core initial teacher education unit at an Australian university. Results indicated that the pre-service teachers’ felt more prepared for parent-teacher conferencing after the technology-enhanced role-play experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-76
Number of pages15
JournalAustralasian Journal of Educational Technology
Volume38
Issue number5
Early online date23 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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