How can trainees develop teaching confidence in a time of social isolation? 

We’re really pleased that you’ve found our new website for the Teacher Selection Project/EduSelect! We only wish that circumstances were a bit more positive right now; we realise that educators at all levels are struggling to figure out the best way forward over the months ahead. Our team is continuing to work with our partners to develop research-informed methods for teacher recruitment, selection, and development. In this blogpost, I want to focus on the development of trainees, and to offer some possible solutions to the challenges imposed by the current context.

The coronavirus crisis has had a significant effect on teacher training, with ITT providers scrambling to provide trainees with meaningful practical experiences at a time when schools are either closed or functioning with reduced capacity. 

One of our newest projects—Scenario-Based Learning (SBL)has the potential to help address the question, How can trainees develop teaching confidence in a time of social isolation? SBL delivers online realistic classroom scenarios that are designed to enhance the ‘classroom readiness’ and teaching confidence of trainees. Trainees view or read a classroom scenario, reflect on possible courses of action, and receive immediate feedback on their responses from experienced teachers. At the end of the activity, trainees are provided with summary feedback on key attributes (like adaptability and emotion management) based on their responses. 

SBL can be delivered online to trainees as a one-time session (about 45 minutes) or as a series of 3-5 sessions spread out over a period of several weeks. Some of our partners are now using SBL as a ‘hurdle’ requirement, where the activity is an ungraded, but compulsory part of the ITT curriculum. Evaluation of the effectiveness of SBL, using measures of classroom readiness and teaching self-efficacy, is built into the activity. If you’d like to find out more (and see an example), please read this Information Sheet and feel free to contact us for further details.

These are challenging times for everyone, and many of us need to find new ways to work. We hope that the research and development activities at the Teacher Selection Project might help provide new ways to deliver meaningful (virtual) classroom experiences for your trainees.