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School of Education’s Dotger receives grant to establish Simulated Interaction Model program for pre-service teachers
Benjamin Dotger, associate professor of teaching and leadership in the Syracuse University School of Education, has been awarded a grant for nearly $200,000 from The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations to establish a simulated interaction model (SIM) pre-service for secondary teachers.
In collaboration with SUNY Upstate Medical University, SIM will use simulated classroom interactions to better prepare future high school teachers for the everyday challenges and situations they will face when they begin their professional careers as educators. The program will retrain standardized patients from SUNY Upstate’s Clinical Skills Center to be standardized students and teachers who will interact with pre-service high school teachers in monitored classroom simulations.
Standardized students and parents will present specific questions, comments and emotions that teachers must address by using their own professional skills and knowledge. Each simulation will be recorded on video for pre-service teachers to view afterward, helping them analyze their strengths, weaknesses and strategies in different situations. Dotger plans on using the first three years of SIM to create a set of 21 simulations for secondary education programs including English, science, art and mathematics with a minimum of 115 pre-service teachers participating in the program. Once fully established in the School of Education, approximately 165 students will graduate each year having participated in the simulations.
Dotger is currently collaborating with Pace University, Stony Brook University and SUNY Cortland to diffuse previous teacher and school leadership simulations, and he hopes to collaborate with other institutions such as SUNY Binghamton, Hunter College and Columbia University, in the fourth year of SIM.
The goal of the SIM program is to nationally diffuse secondary education simulations through a train-the-trainer process and the provision of simulation materials. Dotger wanted to create SIM to address the gap often reported by undergraduate student teachers between their teaching preparation and the daily challenges experienced when they become full-time teachers. Engaging in live, one-to-one practice with simulated interactions will help student teachers develop professional skills further, while receiving support and guidance from faculty.
The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations are national philanthropic organizations established by the late American Industrialist, Arthur Vining Davis. They provide grants for programs in private higher education, secondary education, religion, health care and public television.