Teacher educators understand that the preparation of teachers needs to be rooted in the practice of teaching. This understanding, paired with the advancement in digital technologies capable of delivering practice-based teaching experiences, requires that those charged with preparing teachers consider how to best to position these technologies within their programs. This article positions virtual field experience platforms as on-ramps to professional practice and provides guidance for examining the features and capabilities of such platforms to inform their selection and use within teacher preparation programs.
This 5-year multicohort study examined the growth of elementary preservice teachers’ technology integration in the context of a teacher preparation program redesign that made integrating technologies into instruction a major focus. The authors examined how the teacher education program impacted preservice teachers’ technology integration in the classroom by increasing their efficacy to integrate technology and subject areas (i.e., technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge [TPACK] efficacy) and their technology knowledge. Survey data collected from 891 participants were analyzed using thematic coding, analyses of variance, and structural equation modeling. The full program redesign showed across-cohort growth in TPACK efficacy, technology knowledge, and technology integration frequency, suggesting the possibility of increasing preservice teachers’ technology integration through redesigning the teacher education program. Findings indicated that modeling by teacher educators and cooperating teachers positively impacted TPACK efficacy, technology knowledge, and technology integration frequency. Technology knowledge predicted technology integration frequency. TPACK efficacy empowered preservice teachers with confidence to integrate technology but did not predict technology integration frequency. Implications for teacher education programs are discussed.
The feedback provided to teachers by their supervisors, in preservice and in-service settings, is considered to be essential to teacher learning. Incorporating video records into these mentoring sessions has been shown to trigger the cognitive dissonance needed to help teachers explore the gaps between their intentions and their actual behaviors. However, while preservice teachers are increasingly asked to examine their teaching practice via video, their supervisors are not engaging in a parallel examination of their supervisory practice. Thus, university-based clinical supervisors who carry out critical conversations with teacher candidates do so without reflection about how they are performing in those conferences. At the same time, institutions of teacher education recognize the essential role supervisors play in the development of teacher candidate learning, yet are challenged as to how to provide professional development to supervisors. This paper describes an innovative response to this dilemma: an initiative in which clinical supervisors were invited to investigate their post-observation conversations using video in a self-development group. The research questions explored the impact on supervisors of viewing their own feedback sessions on video and sharing their video analysis in a peer group of fellow supervisors. Via an exploratory, qualitative design, and through document analysis, questionnaires, and transcriptions of the focus group conversation, results suggest video review is a promising approach for advancing supervisors’ self-awareness of their post-observation facilitation skills.
As part of their graduate education, in-service teachers identified an area of instructional focus, video recorded their classroom instruction at two intervals in a semester-long course, formed peer groups, and shared their videos for the purpose of obtaining feedback for professional growth. After the conclusion of the course, participants were contacted and presented with a summary of four benefits of the peer video review process, as identified in a recent professional article. Through online survey, participants were asked to share their perceptions of the peer video review experiences in the course and address any evidence related to the benefits raised in the professional article. Qualitative analysis revealed evidence of individual and collective benefits at personal and professional levels and consensus around the value of the experience, despite common apprehension about the vulnerability involved in sharing. Additionally, participants identified strengths of the video medium and provided suggestions for practical applications of peer video review in the field.