Many preservice teachers (PSTs) experience professional anxiety, especially when related to teacher-student relationships and classroom management. Difficulty with handling this teacher-student relationship is one of the main reasons for PSTs to leave teacher education or educational practice. This PhD research investigates whether classroom simulations in teacher education can decrease PSTs’ professional anxiety while increasing their professional vision, professional knowledge, professional repertoire, and self-efficacy related to interpersonal skills. Classroom simulations can help to cross boundaries between teacher education and educational practice.
In what way can classroom simulations improve PSTs’ interpersonal competence and decrease their professional anxiety? To answer this question, the first study is a literature review about what is already known about the relationship between PSTs’ interpersonal competence and well-being with respect to simulations in teacher education.
Furthermore, study 2 investigates the effect of virtual internships (a type of classroom simulation) in blended environments on PSTs professional anxiety and to understand what aspects of such internships PSTs perceive as useful preparation for their work as a teacher.
For study 3 and 4 we use another classroom simulation, the virtual classroom, where PSTs practice with virtual reality simulations (360º videos with VR-glasses) to investigate if involving in this type of classroom simulation can improve PSTs’ interpersonal competence to bridge the gap between teacher education and educational practice.