Throughout the last decades, understanding and defining the process of globalization challenges educators as of the variety factors that dynamic changes in the world. While focusing on education, it is absolutely clear that immigration influences all related areas; from the variety of languages that are spoken in schools, through the variety of cultures students are coming from, and the need to teach specific domains that will relate to all. Whereas quality assurance in education is another domain researchers and educators deal with, the mentioned factors must be carefully considered already during teacher-training programs. Although it was always a challenge to train teachers for quality teaching process without knowing who their students will be, this challenge is much more complicated in our era. Nowadays, educational leaders need to train teachers to teach efficiency in dynamic areas when they cannot predict who their students will be, what their native language will be, from which culture they will come, and what other diverse characteristics will be part of the teaching as well. The main question that gathers all the above questions is: how can we train quality teachers that develop necessary teaching skills, without knowing exactly the culture of school they will be teaching at?
As part of the process of developing new teacher-training programs that will promote quality teachers that will be skilled to deal with the dynamically changing society, one of the training methods that currently is integrated through academic teacher-training programs is the simulation-based training (SBL). Simulations in general, provide a type of framework in which cognitive knowledge can be translated into performance. The participants experience controversial situations in a safe environment, in which they can learn their strengths and weaknesses in a variety of situations that are pre-planned by professionals (Rooney, Hopwood, Boud and Kelly, 2015). Following the basic methods of simulation, while practicing SBL in teacher training processes, all simulations present a realistic scenario, to which hired professional actors react dynamically. As of the fact the simulations are video-recorded, after participating in a simulation, the scene can be analyzed; this includes the self-observations of the student experiencing the scenario, as well as a reflective discussion (Rudolph, Simon, Dufresne and Raemer, 2006). Following the challenge to prepare quality teachers who have the knowledge and the skills to cope with variety of students, the simulations are prepared accordingly and the topic of differential teaching methods among students from different background is dealt as well (Nakayama, Arakawa, Ejiri, Matsuda & Makino, 2018).
Educational leaders, who wish to prepare teachers to unfamiliar educational situations in schools, accepted the approach of the SBL as an essential part of teacher-training programs. The motivation to use SBL and to change the existing teacher training programs accordingly derive from the understanding that this type of learning hones the skills that lead to effective communication, based on trust and respect (Eizenhamer, et al., 2010). Moreover, the SBL approach imbues participants with a sense of confidence in the learning-teaching processes and promotes the acquisition of skills related to emotional intelligence, as well as social and academic skills (Shapira-Lishchinsky, Glanz and Shaer, 2016).
From understanding the advantages SBL has, this study was developed in order to learn how teacher-trainees use the SBL in order to improve their teaching skills, gaining confidence to deal with the variety of situations in school (Teräs and Kartoğlu, 2017), and becoming increasing their quality of teaching within a dynamic changing environment.
The focus of the study is on SBL through teacher-training program. Participants were 30 (out of 40) teacher-trainees who studied in a course titled "Theories of learning, conceptualization processes, and their application in teaching and education", in which the SBL was applied as a routine process. The goal of the course was to use simulations as a means to clearly demonstrate the link between theories about teaching and learning processes and their implementation in active teaching. A qualitative approach was the methodology of choice. Data were collected through individual reflection reports that were written at the end of the course. Data analysis included identifying the categories, assigning the recorded responses and statements to the relevant categories, counting the number of occurrences in each category, and calculating the portion of each category relative to the total number of statements and utterances (analysis was performed using the software program Atlas 7). The report presented at this conference is based on the responses of 30 students who agreed to participate in the study, throughout all the stages.
All 30 participants expressed in their reflections their understanding to the relations between understanding learners' background and adaptation to teaching strategies. These expressions were categorized into two main categories: 1) Learning environment and learners: - SBL develops communication skills and interpersonal communication. - SBL provides better understanding of the ways tolerance, listening to different opinions and teaching in an intercultural environment. - SBL promotes efficiently coping with new situations. 2) Planning teaching process according to learners' characteristics: – SBL allows learning efficient, deep and dialogue learning. - SBL contributes to better teaching planning according as of better recognition of learners. – SBL shapes the learners' confident and professional identity. The use of SBL enabled the teacher-trainees to practice various aspects of teaching and learning environment. Findings indicate that SBL provides a model for the teacher trainees to better recognize their learners and their background and by that to be better prepared to teach within a dynamic intercultural environment. The simulation environment requires students to be attentive, both to their colleagues and peers, and to their own students (Phusavat, Delahunty, Kess, and Kropsu-Vehkapera, 2017). According to participants’ responses, the simulation emphasized the importance of feedback, and broadened their perspective about the simulated scenario. These findings supported those of previous studies that examined the interactions among simulation participants (Eisenhamer et al., 2010; Shapira-Lishchinsky, Glanz and Shaer, 2016). As the simulation strengthens the social bonds among the students, it also provides a strong basis for coping with a dynamic environment. The findings also recall those of previous studies, which demonstrated that simulation affords a sense of safety and a protected learning environment (Rooney, et al., 2015). In summary, findings of the current study reinforce the need to integrate simulations as a model in teacher-education programs, while emphasizing the role of teacher-training in a changing environment.
Eisenhamer, M., Ziv, A., El Yagur, E., Mevarech, Z., & Rachamim, T. (2010). Simulation-based learning and the program titled Respectful Authority as effective tools that develop preservice teachers' ability to manage controversial interactions in an educational and professional manner. Proceedings of the Chase Conference on Learning Technologies 2010: The Learner in the Age of Technology, 17–23. Nakayama, N., Arakawa, N., Ejiri, H., Matsuda, R., & Makino, T. (2018). Heart rate variability can clarify students’ level of stress during nursing simulation. PloS one, 13(4), e0195280. Phusavat, K, P., Delahunty, D., Kess, P., and Kropsu-Vehkapera, H. (2017). Professional/Peer-learning community. Impacts on workplace training at Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) schools. Journal of Workplace Learning, 29(6), 406-427. Rooney, D., Hopwood, N., Boud, D. and Kelly, M. (2015). The Role of Simulation in Pedagogies of Higher Education for the Health Professions: Through a Practice-Based Lens. Vocations and Learning, 8(3), 269–285. Rudolph, J. W., Simon, R., Dufresne, R. L. and Raemer, D. B. (2006). There’s No Such Thing as “Nonjudgmental” Debriefing: A Theory and Method for Debriefing with Good Judgment. Simulation in Healthcare, 1(1), 49-55. Shapira-Lishchinsky, O. Glanz, J. and Shaer, A. (2016). Team-based Simulations: Towards developing ethical guidelines among USA and Israeli teachers in Jewish schools. Religious Education, 111(5), 555-574. Teräs, H., & Kartoğlu, Ü. (2017). A Grounded Theory of Professional Learning in an Authentic Online Professional Development Program. The International Review Of Research In Open And Distributed Learning, 18(7). doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v18i7.2923
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