Hanneke Theelen, PhD-candidate at ELS and Fontys, will defend her PhD-research soon! The defense is planned for Wednesday May 12 at 13:30h. Her research is entitled: 'Looking around in the classroom. Developing preservice teachers’ interpersonal competence with classroom simulations'.
Many preservice teachers struggle with their interpersonal competence (i.e., creating positive teacher-student relationships) when managing their classrooms. They feel anxious to teach, for instance by disruptive student behaviour, and experience a gap between lessons learned at the teacher education institute and the actual teaching practice. This doctoral dissertation investigated whether classroom simulations (i.e., simplified imitations of actual classroom events) could be used to bridge the gap between the teacher education institute and the teaching practice by developing preservice teachers’ interpersonal competence. Two types of classroom simulations were used: (1) virtual internships and (2) 360-degree videos watched with virtual reality headsets and combined with theoretical lectures. This dissertation shows that classroom simulations are useful tools to develop preservice teachers’ interpersonal competence, to increase their self-efficacy, and to reduce their anxiety by making them more familiar with the actual teaching practice.