Instructors of an undergraduate course teaching instructional methods to future secondary science teachers conducted a qualitative study analyzing the experience of suddenly switching teaching rehearsals to an online format. Half of the fifteen preservice teachers in the course were able to practice being teachers in in-person rehearsals with peers before the course switched to a virtual format in March 2020. The other half were only able to practice in rehearsals online.
Little consensus exists on how best to teach pedagogical methods for rigorous and equitable teaching. Macroteaching is a format that entails 11-12 hours of practice teaching to peers as if teaching a full unit to a class of secondary students. These extended opportunities for rehearsal, feedback, and collaborative reflection are intended to build preservice teachers’ pedagogical skills and instructional vision, making it more likely that new teachers will attempt techniques for rigorous and responsive teaching in the first few years of their careers.
The preservice teachers in the course struggled to foster class discourse, critical science thinking, and build relational connections during online macroteaching. Noticing student thinking, bringing it to the attention of the greater group, and guiding students to elaborate on others’ ideas were particularly difficult in the online platform. The authors suggested that future attempts to conduct teaching rehearsals and preservice teacher training online plan ahead for these potential challenges.
Source (Open Access): Stroupe, D., & Christensen, J. (2023). “Everything That’s Hard Got Harder”: Preservice teachers’ attempts at rigorous and responsive instruction during pedagogical rehearsals in the COVID pandemic. AERA Open, 9, 23328584221139776. https://doi.org/10.1177/23328584221139774