Enhancing Science Education through Virtual Reality: A Conference to Design Simulations that Enhance the Clinical Preparation of Secondary Science Teachers

This conference focuses on the use of virtual/mixed reality simulation in the preparation of secondary science teachers. The conference convenes experts in simulation in teacher preparation, practicing high school teachers, and teacher candidates to engage in a design process related to mixed reality simulations. Conference attendees will identify important gaps in science teacher preparation and design prototype simulation environments for addressing those gaps.

Full Description: 

This conference focuses on the use of virtual/mixed reality simulation in the preparation of secondary science teachers. Educator preparation programs (EPPs) face significant challenges in providing science teacher candidates with quality clinical placements in high school science classrooms. Placements typically do not include the variety of science subject areas that teacher candidates are likely to teach (e.g., biology, chemistry, geoscience, physics) and the classes may not include important student populations such as English language learners or students who receive special education services. The use of virtual and/or mixed reality teaching simulations can address these needs by providing teacher candidates with opportunities to teach a wide range of science content and a diverse set of science learners. This conference brings together stakeholders in science teacher education to develop prototype simulation environments to address these gaps.

The conference convenes experts in simulation in teacher preparation, practicing high school teachers, and teacher candidates to engage in a design process related to mixed reality simulations. Conference attendees will identify important gaps in science teacher preparation and design prototype simulation environments for addressing those gaps. Mursion, a leader in mixed-reality teaching simulations, will provide the platform and resources to rapidly design and test prototypes that build on their current simulation deployment and provide these prototypes to conference attendees and members of the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE) to use and test in their EPP settings. Another key outcome of the convening is the development of a networked improvement community that would develop guidance for the effective use of simulations in science teacher preparation. This work will have a broad impact as the networked improvement community will continue to iterate and advance the use of the simulations in high school science teacher preparation programs.

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