This study investigates how debrief conversations unfold during virtual coaching sessions that provide embedded opportunities to practice teaching within a mixed reality simulation (MRS). We examine how teacher and coach topical episodes function (agreeing, explaining, clarifying, probing, recapping, reflecting and suggesting) to activate reflection as part of virtual coaching.
Grounded in Vygotsky's sociocultural theory and the belief that learning is collaborative and impacts how pre- and in-service teachers construct knowledge, this exploratory case study draws on insights from 15 graduate students (5 pre-service teachers (PSTs) and 10 in-service teachers (ISTs)) who participated in virtual coaching with embedded practice opportunities. Data sources were video recordings and transcripts of 15 virtual coaching sessions, and one-on-one postcoaching interviews. Coding categories were determined through the constant comparative analysis method.
Findings indicate that an MRS provides an immediate context for reflection, which guided the debrief conversations. Additionally, functions occurred with varying frequency among PSTs and ISTs, and across both groups, probing questions often led directly to reflecting and recapping the shared simulation context.
This study had a small sample (n = 15) and the use of an MRS, while widely used, is not necessarily a scalable practice.
In times of remote teaching, like during corona virus 2019 (COVID-19), opportunities to simulate clinical experiences become vital. With a limited research base, learning how teachers engage with and learn from simulated experiences is a key to creating rich learning opportunities for teachers.
We would like to acknowledge the Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition for funding this work (Grant No. T65Z160106). Additionally, we express gratitude to Guest Editor Dr. Carol A. Mullen and the Editorial Board for their thorough feedback and support.
Wernick, A.M., Conry, J.M. and Ware, P.D. (2021), "Coaching in the time of coronavirus 2019: how simulations spark reflection", International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Vol. 10 No. 2, pp. 216-233. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMCE-01-2021-0007
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