Innovative Approaches for Preparing Special Education Preservice Teachers
Keywords:Active learning strategies, Blended learning, Educational technology tools, Preservice teachers, Teacher preparation programs
For years, there has been a shortage of educators qualified to teach students with disabilities. The effect this has on student outcomes is immeasurable. To overcome this shortage, universities are searching for ways to enroll more students into their special education programs, ensure these graduates are prepared for long-term employment, and arm them with the skills necessary to best prepare their future learners. To this end, special education teacher educators seek ways to instruct most effectively during their limited time with their preservice teachers. This article discusses an instructional method to help teacher educators accomplish this goal, drawing on theoretical frameworks related to active learning techniques. Compared to the traditional method of instruction, the blended learning approach affords teachers more in-class time to actively engage preservice teachers with their course content while maintaining a rigorous learning environment. The authors explain how this model can be incorporated into synchronous and asynchronous courses and share valuable online educational resources for successful implementation. Additionally, the authors discuss active learning strategies and video analysis tools to support preservice teachers in both the classroom and during field supervision. All of these focus on equipping preservice teachers to effectively handle the diverse and constantly evolving demands of the contemporary classroom, which may positively impact teacher retention and create a more stable teaching workforce.
Copyright (c) 2023 Dr. Cynthia C. Massey, Dr. Jane E. Strong
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