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Open AccessArticle

Learning to Teach: How a Simulated Learning Environment Can Connect Theory to Practice in General and Special Education Educator Preparation Programs

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Division of Education and Leadership, Western Oregon University, Monmouth, OR 97361, USA
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College of Professional Education, Texas Woman’s University, Denton, TX 76204, USA
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Department of Teacher Education, Leadership, and Counseling, Columbus State University, Columbus, GA 31907, USA
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(7), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci10070184
Received: 10 June 2020 / Revised: 8 July 2020 / Accepted: 10 July 2020 / Published: 18 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Using Technology in Higher Education)
Educator preparation programs have moved away from offering interest-based courses that prepare a teacher candidate on a more surface level and have opted to integrate more authentic experiences with technology that are infused into coursework. This research study focused on redesigning key courses in both the general and special education graduate-level educator preparation programs (EPPs) to infuse learning experiences through a simulated learning environment (Mursion) to help bridge teacher candidates’ coursework and field experiences, offering them robust experience with high leverage practices and technology that increases their own competency. Data from this study demonstrated that preservice teacher candidate work within the Mursion simulated learning environment increased use of high leverage practices related to strategic teaching, collaboration, differentiation, and providing feedback. Implications for instructional coaching, microteaching, repeated practice, and closing the research to practice gap are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: simulated learning environment; instructional coaching; self-efficacy; inclusion; high leverage practices; general education; special education; teacher preparation simulated learning environment; instructional coaching; self-efficacy; inclusion; high leverage practices; general education; special education; teacher preparation
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Landon-Hays, M.; Peterson-Ahmad, M.B.; Frazier, A.D. Learning to Teach: How a Simulated Learning Environment Can Connect Theory to Practice in General and Special Education Educator Preparation Programs. Educ. Sci. 2020, 10, 184.

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