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Preparing Future Teachers: Taking the Perspective of Diverse Learners through Virtual World Role-Play

Danielle Mirliss
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Danielle Mirliss: Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ, USA

International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations (IJGCMS), 2014, vol. 6, issue 2, 15-29

Abstract: This study explored the use of virtual world role-play activities to increase pre-service teachers' sense of teaching efficacy and attitudes toward inclusion. These constructs are also important for teacher identity development since they influence teacher dispositions, effort, professional development and beliefs in intrinsic obligations. The activity was embedded in an undergraduate course for first-year Education majors that focused on supporting diverse learners. Pre-service teachers played the roles of various diverse learners including students with physical, behavioral, socio-economic, emotional and mental challenges. Data were collected at three points during the semester in order to assess changes in efficacy and attitudes. Open ended questions also provided insight into the experience of identity experimentation. Results suggest that perspective taking activities using virtual worlds can provide powerful experiences to support identity development.

Date: 2014
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