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Simulation and the Need for Quality Practice in Teacher Preparation
Unformatted Document Text:  Title: Simulation and the need for quality practice in teacher preparation Section I: ContentA. Statement of the Issue The education of its youth is one of the most important tasks a society undertakes. Concomitantly, the preparation of teachers is also a challenge crucial to society. Yet something is amiss according to many critics who judge our efforts to prepare the nation’s teachers. In this presentation we offer a procedure to help us better prepare teachers while also responding to our critics. Two significant issues are faced as we attempt to move teacher preparation forward. First, the world of teaching has become ever more complex. We now expect teachers to become proficient in aligning, contextualizing, analyzing, explaining, adapting, instructing, and selecting important content. Second, accountability has imposed upon teachers the necessity to demonstrate their worth in bringing about learning for all pK-12 students. Candidates need feedback to help guide their mastery of both of those critical outcomes and teacher work sample methodology can be used as a critical activity in this regard. Candidates need practice and feedback to encourage their progress toward developing high quality work samples and the Cook School simulation provides feedback and practice as candidates try their hand with important teaching skills. This session will focus on the issue of practice and the Cook School simulation as one exemplar of an outstanding practice setting. A. Literature Review The “social turn” in learning and cognition has transformed the field of educational psychology (Brown, Collins, and Duguid, 1989; Greeno, Collins, & Resnick, 1999). Some have argued that this shift is even more significant than that from a behaviorist to cognitive view on learning (Shuell, 1986). Only recently, however, are we starting to see explorations of the implications for this emphasis on the field of teacher education (Putnam & Borko, 2000). Central to this translation work is the notion of apprenticeship learning (Resnick, 1987) and legitimate peripheral participation (Lave & Wenger, 1991) in which a novice teacher spends time in observation of an expert, being scaffolded into increasingly more central professional activities. Though this seems a sensible approach, Putnam and Borko (2000) offer this central challenge: “A concern, however, is that K-12 classrooms embodying the kinds of teaching advocated by university teacher education programs may not be available. Without such classrooms, the apprenticeship model breaks down” (p. 7). As a result, teacher educators are left to find different contexts, methods, or models that provide equally favorable conditions for learning. Resnick (1987) recognized this challenge and suggested, “…special forms of ‘bridging apprenticeships’ that use simulated work environments and specially designed social interactions may be beneficial” (p. 17). These bridging apprenticeships can be thought of as additional practice opportunities. In the past when candidates were unable to master professional skills as quickly as their supervisors hoped, the common solution was to assign another practicum experience. Yet research and scholarly opinion rejects that approach. “Research shows that field experiences too often are disconnected from, or not well coordinated with, the university-based components of teacher education” (Wilson et al., 2001, p. ii). Others share a similar view about relying heavily on practice to provide needed practice and feedback (Allen, 2001; Ferry, et al, 2004; Ramsey, 2000). Each argues that practicum experiences too often do not meet the needs of candidate learners in their efforts to become independent professionals. In recognition of this fact, one

Authors: Girod, Mark. and Girod, Jerry.
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Title: Simulation and the need for quality practice in teacher preparation
Section I: Content
A. Statement of the Issue
The education of its youth is one of the most important tasks a society undertakes.
Concomitantly, the preparation of teachers is also a challenge crucial to society. Yet something
is amiss according to many critics who judge our efforts to prepare the nation’s teachers. In this
presentation we offer a procedure to help us better prepare teachers while also responding to our
critics. Two significant issues are faced as we attempt to move teacher preparation forward.
First, the world of teaching has become ever more complex. We now expect teachers to become
proficient in aligning, contextualizing, analyzing, explaining, adapting, instructing, and selecting
important content. Second, accountability has imposed upon teachers the necessity to
demonstrate their worth in bringing about learning for all pK-12 students. Candidates need
feedback to help guide their mastery of both of those critical outcomes and teacher work sample
methodology can be used as a critical activity in this regard. Candidates need practice and
feedback to encourage their progress toward developing high quality work samples and the Cook
School simulation provides feedback and practice as candidates try their hand with important
teaching skills. This session will focus on the issue of practice and the Cook School simulation
as one exemplar of an outstanding practice setting.
A. Literature Review
The “social turn” in learning and cognition has transformed the field of educational
psychology (Brown, Collins, and Duguid, 1989; Greeno, Collins, & Resnick, 1999). Some have
argued that this shift is even more significant than that from a behaviorist to cognitive view on
learning (Shuell, 1986). Only recently, however, are we starting to see explorations of the
implications for this emphasis on the field of teacher education (Putnam & Borko, 2000). Central
to this translation work is the notion of apprenticeship learning (Resnick, 1987) and legitimate
peripheral participation (Lave & Wenger, 1991) in which a novice teacher spends time in
observation of an expert, being scaffolded into increasingly more central professional activities.
Though this seems a sensible approach, Putnam and Borko (2000) offer this central challenge:
“A concern, however, is that K-12 classrooms embodying the kinds of teaching advocated by
university teacher education programs may not be available. Without such classrooms, the
apprenticeship model breaks down” (p. 7). As a result, teacher educators are left to find different
contexts, methods, or models that provide equally favorable conditions for learning. Resnick
(1987) recognized this challenge and suggested, “…special forms of ‘bridging apprenticeships’
that use simulated work environments and specially designed social interactions may be
beneficial” (p. 17). These bridging apprenticeships can be thought of as additional practice
opportunities.
In the past when candidates were unable to master professional skills as quickly as their
supervisors hoped, the common solution was to assign another practicum experience. Yet
research and scholarly opinion rejects that approach. “Research shows that field experiences too
often are disconnected from, or not well coordinated with, the university-based components of
teacher education” (Wilson et al., 2001, p. ii). Others share a similar view about relying heavily
on practice to provide needed practice and feedback (Allen, 2001; Ferry, et al, 2004; Ramsey,
2000). Each argues that practicum experiences too often do not meet the needs of candidate
learners in their efforts to become independent professionals. In recognition of this fact, one


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