The effects of teacher training and experience in a classroom decision-making simulation

Shannon, David Michael, Department of Education, University of Virginia
Ball, Donald W., Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Medley, Donald M., Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Callahan, Carolyn, CU-Curr Instr & Sp Ed, University of Virginia
Clark, David L., Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

The purpose of this study was to verify and extend the findings obtained during the field test of the Simulation Test of Interactive Teaching Competencies-Hays (STITC-H) test. This test simulated the limited time allowed for making decisions in the classroom by projecting written descriptions of typical classroom situations on a videotape. Alternative teacher responses were presented, one -at a time, and subjects were given five seconds to indicate whether each course of action was appropriate or inappropriate.

The specifications for the STITC-H were developed using a group of indicators of successful teaching specified by the Virginia Beginning Teacher Assistance Program (BTAP) and each situation was approved by a panel of experts which included teachers, administrators and college faculty.

This study was designed to answer three major research questions which attempted to verify whether teachers learn the research findings on effective teaching from their professional training and from their classroom teaching experiences and whether this knowledge is reflected in their performance on the Simulation Exercise in Classroom Decision-Making. It was hypothesized that: 1) university students with training in education would score higher than students without training in education, 2) those subjects with classroom teaching experience (student teachers and teachers) would score higher than those without classroom teaching experience (non-education and education students) and 3) experienced teachers would score higher than student teachers.

Regarding the overall test performance of subjects, two of the three hypotheses were rejected at the .05 level. A significant difference between the overall performance of experienced teachers and student teachers was not found. All three hypotheses were rejected upon the examination of specific group profiles across the eleven competencies. Evidence in support of construct validity was established as this test discriminated among subjects with varying degrees of training and experience in education.

It was recommended that this test be refined, administered to other groups, correlated with other measures such as the NTE and GRE as well as future classroom observations. If this simulation exercise can be used to predict teacher performance, it could then be used a both a screening device within teacher education programs and local school divisions and to identify strengths and weaknesses of practicing teachers so that the appropriate inservice training could be scheduled and other remedial services provided.

Note: Abstract extracted from PDF file via OCR.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Classroom simulators, Classroom management -- Evaluation, Teachers -- Rating of
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