10 SES 06 B, Research on Programmes and Pedagogical Approaches in Teacher Education
The present study aims at evaluating a simulation game of decision making on inclusive versus exclusive education with regard to teacher students’ change of beliefs and level of reflection. Reinisch (1980, 13) defined simulation games as reconstruction of real situations or anticipation of future situations, where groups with conflicting interests have to solve a problem. They consist of three phases: The briefing aims at preparing for the simulation by collecting information and arguments, the simulation allows participants to act out their argumentation within a scenario, the de-briefing is a reflective discussion on the simulation (Capaul & Ulrich, 2003). It is assumed that simulation games enhance knowledge, professional beliefs and reflection as they provide a problem-based and action-oriented learning context and close the gap between educational theory and practice in academic settings (Meßner, Schedelik & Engartner, 2018). Reflection is claimed as a goal in many teacher preparation programs. Dewey (1993) defined reflection as an active and deliberative cognitive process which addresses a practical problem, taking account of underlying beliefs and knowledge. Especially in the context of inclusive education, teachers need to critically reflect on their own beliefs and institutional conditions to deal with dilemmatic situations as in the ones of selection and equal opportunities (Häcker & Walm, 2015). Furthermore, professional beliefs are an important part of teacher competence as they influence instructional behaviour (Baumert & Kunter, 2011). Teachers’ beliefs can be described as “psychologically held understanding, premises, or propositions about the world that are felt to be true” (Richardson, 1996, 103). Although beliefs are very stable, they can be modified through interventions (e.g. Barlow and Cates, 2006). Therefore, simulation games may be an appropriate method within teacher education. Reviews conclude that compared to traditional teaching methods, simulation games are at least equally well suited to foster content learning and reflection, but that they additionally affect beliefs and motivation (Pierfy, 1977; Schedelik, 2018). However, this method has rarely been used or evaluated in teacher education (Sturm et al., 2017).
The present study aims at answering the following questions:
- Does a simulation game foster teacher students’ reflection on inclusive education?
- Does a simulation game foster teacher students’ positive beliefs about inclusive education?
Drawing on the literature, we expect an effect of the simulation game on both reflection and beliefs.
In a quasi-experimental repeated measures design we varied whether teacher students participated in a simulation game (experimental group; EG) and a group discussion (control group; CG). Both groups dealt with decision on a fictive student’s inclusive education in public school. Overall, N = 80 teacher students from four university teacher education classes took part in the study and were assigned to either EG or CG on a class level; N = 33 participated in the simulation game, N = 47 in the group discussion. All participants worked on a standardized E-Learning unit on inclusive education. Within EG, students familiarised themselves with one of six positions of the decision makers and they represented this position within an authentic school scenario during the simulation. In contrast, students of CG discussed their arguments based on the same texts, but without a scenario with specific roles and without the pressure to reach a decision. For pre-post comparisons, all students wrote a reflection on a video vignette and revised their reflection after the intervention. The reflections were analysed with a coding scheme adapted from Leonhard et al., 2010 distinguishing between three levels of reflection: descriptive reflection with argumentations based on descriptions and personal judgement, dialogic reflection including alternative solutions or perspectives and critical reflection taking account of social, political and/or cultural forces (Hatton & Smith, 1995). Interrater-agreement of 10 sub-categories was good (>80%). Finally, we employed a questionnaire on beliefs about inclusive education (Bosse & Spörer, 2014; α = .89) before and after the intervention.
Using repeated measures ANOVAs, students in both EG and CG showed higher levels of reflection after the intervention, F(1.0)=28.53, p=.00 (one-tailed), ƞ2=.27. Contrary to our hypothesis, there was no significant difference between EG and CG F(1.0)=0.74, p=.39, ƞ2=.01. As expected, we found a positive effect on beliefs about inclusive education, F(1.0)=3.62, p=.03 (one-tailed), ƞ2=.10, and an additional effects of the simulation game, F(1.0)=3.31, p=.04 (one-tailed), ƞ2=.09. These findings are similar to those of other studies on simulation games (Cherryholmes, 1966; Pierfy, 1977; Schedelik, 2018), indicating that simulation games have similar effects on reflection as traditional approaches, but have an additional effect on beliefs. As beliefs are an important part of teacher competencies (Baumert & Kunter, 2011), simulation games seem to be an appropriate method in teacher education. Furthermore, as we employed a short-term intervention of one only session, the significant increase of students’ levels of reflection within contexts of inclusion in both group is promising.
Barlow, A. T., & Cates, J. M. (2006). The impact of problem posing on elementary teachers’ beliefs about mathematics and mathematics teaching. School Science and Mathematics, 106(2), 64–73. Baumert, J. & Kunter, M. (2011): Das Kompetenzmodell von COACTIV. In: Kunter, Mareike/Baumert, Jürgen/Blum, Werner/ Klusmann, Uta/Krauss, Stefan/Neubrand, Martin (Hrsg.): Professionelle Kompetenz von Lehrkräften. Ergebnisse des Forschungsprogramms COACTIV. Münster: Waxmann, 29–53. Bosse, S. & Spörer, N. (2014). Erfassung der Einstellung und der Selbstwirksamkeit von Lehramtsstudierenden zum inklusiven Unterricht. Empirische Sonderpädagogik, 4, S. 279-299 Capaul, R. & Ulrich, M. (2003): Planspiele. Simulationsspiele für Unterricht und Training: Mit Kurztheorie: Simulations- und Planspielmethodik. 1. Aufl. Altstätten: Tobler. Dewey, J. (1993). How we think: A restatement of the relation of reflective thinking to the educative process. Boston: D. C. Heath. Häcker, T., & Walm, M. (2015): Inklusion als Herausforderung an eine reflexive Erziehungswissenschaft. Anmerkungen zur Professionalisierung von Lehrpersonen in „inklusiven“ Zeiten. Erziehungswissenschaft, 26, S. 81-89. Hatton, N. & Smith, D. (1995): Reflection in Teacher Education. Towards Definition and Implementation. In Teaching and Teacher Education, 11(1), S. 33-49. Leonhard, T., Nagel, N., Rihm, T., Strittmatter-Haubold, V. & Wengert-Richter, P. (2010): Zur Entwicklung von Reflexionskompetenz bei Lehramtsstudierenden. In A. Gehrmann, U. Hericks & M. Lüders (Hrsg.): Bildungsstandards und Kompetenzmodelle. Beiträge zu einer aktuellen Diskussion über Schule, Lehrerbildung und Unterricht. S. 111-127. Bad Heilbrunn: Klinkhardt. Meßner, M. T., Schedelik, M & Engartner, T. (Hrsg.): Handbuch Planspiele in der sozialwissenschaftlichen Lehre. Frankfurt/M.: Wochenschau Verlag. Reinisch, H. (1980): Planspiel und wissenschaftspropädeutisches Lernen. Hamburg: Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Hochschuldidaktik. Richardson, V. (1996). The role of attitudes and beliefs in learning to teach. In J. Sikula, T. Buttery, & E. Guyton (Eds.), Handbook of research in teacher education (2nd ed., 102–119). New York: Macmillan Sturm, T., Weibel, M. & Wlodarczyk, S. (2017): Simulationsspiel als hochschuldidaktisches Medium zur Auseinandersetzung mit soziologischen Theorien – am Beispiel von Bourdieus ‚Reproduktion sozialer Ungleichheit durch die Schule’ Zeitschrift für Inklusion online. Verfügbar unter: https://www.inklusion-online.net/index.php/inklusion-online/article/view/402 (27.05.2018).
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